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Topics - retro junkie

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1
General Discussion / New Car................ the Volt
« on: July 21, 2020, 10:13:11 PM »
I don't know how I ended up with my car being 20 years old. I guess it is because that it has been such a good car over the years, until now. It turned into a money pit this year. Last Saturday the engine blew on my 1999 Malibu in the middle of the road. And I am thinking in my mind I have to pay a bill on a repair from two weeks ago, does not relate to todays breakdown. I only have one car and this is it.
For the last three months, maybe? I have been researching vehicles planning when I retire next year to purchase a new car with my Malibu as a backup second car. That has not happened. I had to use my research, pros & cons, now! Without going into details I ended up going with Carvana and picking a 2014 Chevy Volt.
My seven day trial period ends tomorrow. And I am going to keep this. The car is in mint condition, well taken care of. It is electric with a built in gasoline generator. Very fun to drive.  8)



2
General Discussion / Using Safari
« on: July 21, 2020, 10:10:58 PM »
Does this work?

3
Help / Issues / Cannot Start a New Thread, Topic!!
« on: July 20, 2020, 08:46:35 PM »
Here is a test run!

@BLUEVOODU looks like it is in the "General Discussion" area that I get a "403, forbidden."

4
I haven't turned my XBOX ONE on in over a year, maybe two. Can't remember. Sorry but it be like that with me. I should have known. It needs to make an update before I can play a game. The update is almost 4g. This is one of the reasons I hate modern consoles. Retro gaming is so easy, push in a game and flip the switch.

This so rubs my fur the wrong way, if it isn't a system update then it is the game. And I am not sure at this point whether the game I want to put in has some sort of update or install period I will have to endure. Just purchased Pacman Championship Edition 2. Surely not, please.

If there is anything the next generation needs to resolve it is the loading of the game. There needs to be some changes in the technology. That issue needs to be addressed badly. Back to carts? Not sure. But the DVD, Blu Ray are outdated as a gaming medium with the amount of data that needs to be juggled for modern gaming. I have gotten my fill of it during the PS3 and XBOX 1.

Not sure what they can do about system update, they are such a pain.

5
Retro Gaming and Hardware / Famicom Classic Mini
« on: June 20, 2020, 09:17:04 AM »
Celebrating 43 years, my wife and i this weekend. My wife knows me very well and got me this as a gift on our anniversary.
After my experience with Genesis, Neo Geo, and Turbo Grafx minis, I have been wanting the NES and SNES minis. I have been also eyeing the Famicom mini.

Game list:
Donkey Kong
Pac-Man
Excitebike
Balloon Fight
Ice Climber
Galaga
Yie Ar Kung-Fu
Super Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
Atlantis no Nazo
Gradius
Makai Village (Ghosts n' Goblins in the US)
Solomon's Key
Metroid
Castlevania
Adventure of Link
Bumping Sumo
Super Mario Bros. 3
Ninja Gaiden
Mega Man 2
River City Ransom
Double Dragon Ⅱ The Revenge
Super Tamashito Luo (Super C in the US)
Final Fantasy Ⅲ
Dr. Mario
Downtown Nekketsu March Soreyuke
Mario Open Golf
Super Mario USA (Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US)
Kirby's Adventure


One thing that hit me right out of the box are the tiny controllers. But these things work great. I am impressed. The original Famicom had the controllers attached to the console. This is a con in that the cords are short and you need to be near the console in order to play. I have no problem with my set-up, but this could be a deal breaker with some gamers. They work for me. But they are the only controllers that you can use.


As I was trying out games, I noticed a file that said more games. Clicked and it opened up a ton of surprises. My wife knows nothing about this stuff. She just happened to get one of these things that someone hacked. It has over 900 NES games most in english. This thing is brand new in the box with all of its wrappings.

The games look great over my flat screen. I really don't like the scanline mode. There is too much fuzzy blur, I think that is the best way of describing it. Rather play on the other modes. The sharp  clear images don't bother me.
The console is a pretty solid build. Loving this thing. Nintendo done good.

6
General Discussion / Tis the Season to be jolly
« on: December 15, 2019, 06:56:00 AM »
I am looking down at a week right before I take off for the Christmas Holiday. I will be taking off from work at least two weeks which will take me into the new year. My Family and I are presently doing Christmas things. All our Holiday movies have been pulled and stacked. Last night it was Charlie Brown and Grinch cartoons. We have the Season's music coming from the TV by Youtube throughout the day. At times we will set together, listen, and relax around the tree, trying to remember things from Christmas past. At this point our shopping is done, just last minute mailings of a gift or two and cards. From this point I will be sneaking gift wrapping and stealth placing them under the tree. Much cooking preparations are still in the wings. Which means we will be eating Christmas things. I used to pull out my Sega Saturn and play the Nights Christmas demo game. I haven't done that in a long time.

Family is spread out over the US, and a lot have passed on, so there hasn't been really a gathering for the Holiday in a very long time.

I say looking down at a week because I am out on that limb ready to jump down on that bear and wrestle it to the ground.

Each Family has their own traditions in how they celebrate the Holiday. Is there something you can share that makes the Season special to you?

A Christmas memory that we have was when my Daughter was around 8 or was it ten. Can't remember. We went to bed on Christmas eve only to awaken on Christmas morning to snow that was already 6" deep. It was a big surprise. We didn't even look at the tree, or gifts. But we quickly bundled up and out we went. We built a snowman played in that snow until lunch. Gifts were enjoyed that afternoon after the meal.

7
General Discussion / The Mandalorian.........hmmmmm yeah right.
« on: November 28, 2019, 07:31:01 PM »
Has anyone got Disney plus yet? We have had it from day one. One of the things that really attracted us to it was the trailer for this particular series.  Just our opinion, we feel this series alone is not worth scribing to the streaming service (the trailer was better.) Now that I have that out in the open I will continue.

This series has so much potential. And you can see that in the episodes. A lot of the elements in the show are good. It is just that it seems that the direction and production is so lame. Cinematography is sometimes even lacking. The quality does not stand up to the MCU, their TV series stuff like SHIELD, or the Star Wars franchise. Even their old Disney stuff is better. Not sure what they were thinking. The music has stuck in my crawl. Usually music is used to increase the impact of the mood of a scene. The music is so disjointed from the whole thing. Maybe it is just me.

I thought the team up with IG88 was great, so much chemistry between them. But someone writing the script must not have, short lived. Very disappointed.

There are a lot of things on Disney plus that makes it worth having the app. This series is just not enough, if that is what you're wanting to see.

edit: It just does not deliver enough to draw me in and hook me. My Daughter and I are fans of the Star Wars universe. Not as big as we used to be. We had high expectations.

8
General Discussion / GameStop Going Down?
« on: August 11, 2019, 04:31:55 PM »
I am seeing a lot of talk of GameStop heading down the "spiraling path of death." Locally, if GameStop closed, I don't think it would be much of an impact. When I think of shopping for games they do not even come to mind. As a retro gamer they stepped away from me many years ago. There are other local game stores, some are "mom & pop." Gamexchange is a chain of local gaming stores that has been my goto when it comes to local purchase of games. They carry anything from Atari 2600 through modern games and consoles. Their main focus are games. In the last twenty years I can count on one hand how many times that I have been in a GameStop. Recently have been a couple of those times and then I thought I was walking into a Hot Topic store. If they quickly return to being a gaming store they might survive. But if they stay on the path that they are going, they are nothing but a shadow that will fade into the sunset and become one of those memories in gaming history. In the early days them and Babbages were THE "game stores."

Below are games I grabbed up at my local Gamexchange this weekend. That's my point.

9
Retro Gaming and Hardware / The Retro Console to HDMI Problem
« on: August 03, 2019, 08:47:03 PM »
This is one of my blogs for this month, but I felt it should be posted here too. This is a very important subject with serious retro gamers.



The real dilemma is that the composite input of HDTVs is slowly disappearing from newer models. The composite analogue tech is archaic in the modern electronic age. Only if you have an old VCR, or DVD recorder, or an old retro gaming system do you find yourself in the dilemma. (Did I leave anything out?) Really it is when you find yourself with something like the PS2 and backward, those are the gaming generations that are totally effected. And I feel that we are approaching a point when there will not be any composite type inputs to accommodate. The niche market may not be big enough for some company to invest in the tech needed to do it right and with quality. And do it at a modest price point that makes it affordable for the budget gamer. What we see is cheap China adapters.

We all must grasp the truth that the old consoles are in analogue 480 aspect ratio with a need for scan lines to hide the ugliness. No matter what you do, it does not change that inconvenient reality. Pixels and jaggies are the nature of the beast. And when you take that and try to convert it to digital 720p or 1080p HDMI, somebody help me 4K, it does not go well when it comes to expectations. One has to change their perspective and game on. Let’s face it, the old CRTs are gone. It has been years in my own area since I have seen them in my local Goodwill, and then they were $2 and $3. They have become museum artifacts.

Alternatives is the quest of every retro gamer, finding that one unique golden ticket. For the budget gamer, I have found three main routes, the console specific adapter, the very cheap universal adapter, and the clone console with HDMI. Presently, limited on the quality, on shaky ground, the clone console route is marketed mainly toward the Genesis, SNES, and NES. If you are looking for answers concerning your Turbo GrafX 16, N64, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, Xbox, GameCube, or PS2, things get a little scary. There are some console specific adapters out there floating around, except for the TG16, but for how long is the question. And for the Neo Geo AES and CD consoles, I see nothing but the small cheap universal adapter as any kind of alternative and that is sad. Thankfully the PS1 has the PS3 for that HDMI experience.

For me, the cheap universal adapters get the job done but they are marred by the attempt to reduce the jaggies with some sort-of, anti-aliasing blurring fuzzy effect. (You feel as if your vision is impaired.) The clone consoles are hindered by their inability to perfectly replicate the hardware that they are trying to represent. So, you have sound and colors along with compatibility issues to complicate matters as that analogue signal is converted to a digital HDMI 720p or 1080p. There are various associated outcomes connected to a clone’s respective manufacturer. The console specific adapters, in converting the analogue signal to digital, can have an effect on the tint of the colors, brightness, darkness, bleeding reds, even a muting of colors. And the adapters themselves can be very hard to get. I have waited for an adapter that will work on the N64, GameCube, and SNES, for over a month before finally showing up at my door this week. The advantage of this type of adapter is, you get to use the original hardware.

I have the Hyperkin HDMI adapter for the GameCube, N64, and SNES. It has a seven-foot cable and it includes a USB power cord. You can use a standard power brick or a USB input on your TV. It has a switch on the adapter for 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio. The GameCube comes out on top as the one that gets the most benefit of using this adapter. Looks awesome on screen. The other two, jaggies are very noticeable, but who cares, I have a reasonably priced alternative for my N64 to HDMI hookup. This works for me. And my N64 will probably be the one console that will get the most use out of this adapter. All three consoles played without issue for me. I detected no latency, colors were acceptable, gameplay spot on. I have mainly been looking for a way to play N64 games on my HDTV without using composite connecters, would rather have the choice of HDMI. This serves well and resolves that problem, for me. Without some expensive console mod, I am delighted. Using the original hardware is very satisfying. Hyperkin is getting ready to launch an N64 clone in the near future. I had concerns especially since it had compatibility issues that were displeasing to me. Now? If I do pick up the N64 clone, it will be to review and test its worth and not for serious gaming. If this thing holds up it will deserve a good thumbs up with a $30 USD well spent.

GameCube: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles


N64: Beetle Adventure Racing



SNES: STAR FOX and STREET FIGHTER 2 Alpha Zero


10
Retro Gaming and Hardware / Hyperkin SNES: Frist Impressions
« on: July 03, 2019, 02:34:38 PM »
[I apologize for the format. I just loaded this up earlier on my blog site.]

The best way to play a SNES game is on the original hardware using a CRT. If you still have this setup, feel fortunate.


The SupaRETRON HD has a smaller footprint and will fit snug anywhere.

I suppose one has to consider the type of technology, that is put into these things, in order to deliver to the market “a cheap clone.” It should be expected that there are going to be flaws and that the tech has its limitations. When you look at “Analogue’s” consoles, it seems obvious, that in order to get something that compares to the original experience, on modern HD flatscreens, you are going to peel off some of that hard-earned jingle you carry around in your pocket. The switch from traditional tube scanlines to HD TV can be a traumatic experience for an old gamer. It is understood why many fall into the purest camp clinging to, and trying to maintain, their old consoles and CRTs. These games were designed for that certain time period, with no thought that many would love these things beyond their intended gaming generation. If you were there, you know that there is just no way to reproduce the magic of that period in gaming. There was no “net” so information was delivered by long waited for gaming magazines with sometimes months old news, and local arcade rumors. TV commercials only fed the fire to the already gaming community hype. The electricity and excitement that filled the air in those days as the trail was pioneered, and cleared, for modern-day gaming will never be repeated. And it is a real need among “those gamers” to preserve that part of gaming history. Retro gamers were born out of that need.



With that being said, I will now move into looking at my first impressions of the Hyperkin HD SNES.


The Micro USB power port, HDMI, and aspect ratio switch is the big winners here.

It depends on which SNES HD clone you purchase in what you are willing to except, or put up with, in your SNES gaming experience, obviously. I choose the Hyperkin mainly for the specific advantage in the way they powered their systems. I have the Hyperkin NES, Sega Genesis, and now the SNES HD. All three are powered by the same small matching USB power brick and connects into a mini USB port on the console. I only have one power cord running to the consoles and one HDMI. It depends on which system I am playing at the time that will be connected. When it comes to cheap HD clones, and I say this with gritted teeth, these may be close to being the cream of the crop, for now. There are those few others that are not bad choices.


On the Ever Drive China Ver. running Gradius 3. The beginning animation, title screen, and options menu were all normal, until you enter the game. The original SNES cart runs perfect.

There are compatibility problems that I found with the Ever Drive. It might be limited to the China version which is the only one that I own. Don’t know. There were certain games that were unplayable with, for example, the background graphics horribly broken and mangled. Putting in the same game and playing from the original cart there was no problem, for example a game like Gradius 3 was one. Not all games from the “Ever Drive China version” had compatibility issues, but keep in mind that the Ever Drive is designed for the original console. Not a big deal for me. I mainly use the Ever Drive as a game demo cart to see if I want to invest in a certain game. The console is totally compatible with reproduction games, on the other hand. So that is a plus, for me, as I have occasionally purchased a repro, it does run the retrobit’s Jaleco Brawler’s Pack. Seems to have good compatibility across the specialty chips. It plays Star Ocean great, water and reflections, sound bites, are there and nothing seems noticeably wrong. Star Fox, Yoshi’s Island, Super Gameboy, Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Kirby Super Star, all play with no issues. That covers the SA1, Super FX GSU-1, S-DD1, Super FX GSU-2, and the Sharp LR35902 core chips. The SA1 chip was used in around 34 games including the Mario RPG. Many games look good in spite of the jaggies, Yoshi’s Island for one. Some are not that bad when the jaggies are not as pronounced while others look eye bleedingly shocking, gasp. The console can play both SNES and Super Famicom games.



Visually, some games fair better than others, backgrounds usually look great. Jaggies are embedded into the main character sprites, or any low-rez sprites in general, so get over it if this is the route anyone wants to take. It is just a part of cheap clone gaming life. No one has placed a scanline feature on a cheap console, yet. I am sure if they find a cheap and easy way of doing it without sacrificing cost, using system-on-a-chip technology, it will happen. Just not there yet. Colors are rich and graphics are sharp with smooth animation for nonintentional playing on a large HD screen. At least as good as they can be under the circumstances without the scanlines. Audio, so far, is, normal, for a SNES. At least I haven’t ran across anything that raises my eyebrows or causes me to cry.


They basically got the configuration right with something ergonomically going on with the backside. I have no issues with it.

The controllers, that are supplied with the console, two, are good and feel close to the originals. Of course, if you are not satisfied you can use original controllers. Most respectable clone consoles come equipped with this feature. You get a generous 7ft 7inch cord, I measured. And the system comes with all hookups, both HDMI and RCA cords. But why bother with the RCA hookups if the main purpose is the HDMI? Has a NTSC-PAL switch on the bottom and a 16:9-4:3 aspect ratio switch on the backside of the console. It has an eject button that works great just like the original.



Not sure what more I can add at this point. It is really a matter of choice. (Choose your poison wisely, I guess, LOL.) Original hardware is still available for about the same price. You would need to fork out some extra cash for the HDMI connection. There are starting to be a few good options as manufacturers see money to be made. I have tried a few of the universal connection ones, but not the console specific, with unsatisfying results. Clone consoles are far better with their direct HDMI connection. Having been present in the local gaming stores when someone is looking into retro, I know they push clone systems. Even tried to correct one of the workers, nicely, about the NES light gun. They really don’t listen or understand. Game stores push the clones over the used gaming consoles that they carry. I am sure it is due to the easy HDMI connect.



Just think, as 4K becomes the standard in the future market for HD TVs we might be going through something similar as the signals are totally incompatible. At least for the tuners it is, not certain about the HDMI. That might not change hopefully. The headache continues………?


Everyone of their consoles has this trademark touch on the corner, lights up when the system is on.

11
Retro Gaming and Hardware / TurboGrafx 16 mini
« on: June 15, 2019, 03:52:52 PM »
Okay now you have my full attention! I must have this! I did not realize until recently that Konami had acquired all the rights to the Hudson Soft stuff. With this announcement I am very excited. I hope the games include not only Hucard but also CD. So far they are on the right track with a hand full of titles which includes one CD game, Y's 1 & 2. It will even offer the option of scan lines. Interesting.

https://www.konami.com/games/pcemini/gate




12
Retro Gaming and Hardware / N64 Clone Console?
« on: June 06, 2019, 09:32:08 PM »
Well they finally went and did it. But it seems to be emulation instead of "N64 on a chip." Not sure I am happy about that. I think at this point I will take a "wait and see" attitude. I would rather see more of a hardware based clone rather than the emulation approach. It all depends if the console downloads the rom or plays directly from the cart. I am happy with the fact that the N64 is now being considered for clone systems. N64 on a modern HD tv is a little on the expensive side if you want 720 or better. I just hope it does not leave a bad taste in my mouth.   :-\


13
PC Rigs, Builds, and Peripheral Devices / Hybrid HDD or SSD drives?
« on: May 31, 2019, 09:50:25 PM »
Has anyone tried either type of HD? If so what are pros, cons? I may be behind when it comes to this type of tech. I am mostly a document, paint program, net suffer type of user. Old hardware has been my main rigs and laptops.

14
Okay I was tempted. I was on eBay looking around where I probably shouldn't have been.  ::) This computer place had 21 macbooks, 2008 build, for $40 each, this past weekend. They all quickly sold. Ummm... took the dive, as one of those 21, and here I am typing this on that book.

It is one of the books that has a 2.4 ghz intel core 2 Duo running OSX 10.6.8 Snow Leopard on a 160gb. It only has 2gb memory, but I have another two on the way and am going to order an SSD drive.

Believe it or not but this thing is newer than my lenovo laptop that I have been using for years with Linux. And this will be my first taste of 64bit instead of that old lenovo which is 32.

First thing I had to do is find a web browser because Safari was crap due to being so outdated. I am using Articfox which seems to be running very good. And I am finding that it will work with Facebook, youtube, eBay, and this forum.

This is really an investigation. My Daughter is concerned that Windows 7 is about to be no longer supported by Microsoft. And when that happens then there goes the Anit-virus support. I suggested she look elsewhere like Macintosh. So I have been on this thing since I got home this afternoon and I am liking this very much. This is from someone who has used Linux for almost 20 years. Of course if she decides to go this route it will be a much newer Mac. This is just to become familiar with the difference.

15
Retro Gaming and Hardware / Blade Buster on the NES!!
« on: May 05, 2019, 11:29:10 PM »


As a gamer, I love these types of shmups. From what I can understand this is a homebrew game especially designed for the NES and put on a reproduction cart. It is a vertical scrolling shooter in the style of Super Star Soldier, Blazing Lazors, with that warm fuzzy Hudson Soft sort of feel. It even seems that it has that music of Super Star Soldier in the first stage. Gameplay is so fast with no slow down similar to Summer Carnival. Graphics are standard fair of these arcade shooters of the past. This is true retro arcade shoot’em up love expressed in this wonderful game. You get only the choice of a 2 or 5 minute “high score attack” sessions, but that is okay. It is one of those games that you can sit down to if you only have a moment and addictive enough if you want a long play. High score survival is my thing. I have only been able to make it into the second stage so far. This and Summer Carnival are the closest you are going to get to a bullet hell shooter on the NES. I want so much to have more of these type of homebrew games. To me, they are worth every penny. Been a great and exciting weekend spent with this highly recommended NES game.





16
Over the Holiday weekend I started moving my stuff around and packing away some things. Right now my console gaming focus will be NES, Sega Genesis, SNES, N64, and Gamecube. That is the way my gaming area is setup now. What really lit the fire was going through my carts and making a list of every game that I have on the NES, Genesis, and SNES. I was shocked to realize that I have more SNES games than I do on the Genesis, but that is mainly due to my large Super Famicom library I now have, much larger than my US library. I am gearing up to increase my NES library as it stands at a little over 80 games. That is just not right, so much out there that is good.  ;)

17
Retro Gaming and Hardware / Hyperkins RetroN 1 HD= NES Gaming
« on: April 07, 2019, 10:12:35 AM »
Okay I bit the bullet. After such a positive experience with the Hyperkin Mega Retron I just had to pick up the NES console. And I am very pleased with my purchase. Been trying NES games all week.


Very small console. I already had the game carts. Both of these carts and the console equals great gaming in a very small package. And it is an added plus just to be able to power this from my TV's USB. What an awesome idea.

I had to try it. I tried Rad Racer 2 and this is the first clone console that I have had which will boot the game. Even though the graphics has its issues, I was still able to play the game. Road scrolled toward me and I was able to maneuver around the other vehicles.


I understand that it will play Castlevania 3 with no problems. I do not have that game..............................yet.  ;)

18
Retro Gaming and Hardware / Retro-Bit Sega Genesis Controller!
« on: March 09, 2019, 05:41:13 PM »
This is the 30th anniversary of Street Fighter 2 Ryu controller from Retro-Bit. This controller feels very solid with clicky buttons, awesome. I have been enjoying playing Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition. Great fan work with the artwork of Ryu across the face.  The size is good. One thing that puzzled me as I actually took out a tape measure to the cord, 5" 8"? Come on! 5" 8"? What's 4 inches? Somebody tell me what is it with four inches? Why couldn't it have been 6 feet? Or maybe 10 feet. Sorry for the rant. Almost lost my cool.


Mode button on top sort-of in the place you would find a shoulder button.




This is the big plus about this controller, two hookups. Made for the original, or clone, Genesis system, but can also be used on a PC, or the Altgames Genesis mini.


I do highly recommend this controller to anyone that needs a Genesis controller. This is the bomb. And a special thank you to Retro-bit for the love.

19
The last time I got a Sega Genesis clone system it was the Fei Hao version. And I got that one for the specific purpose of being able to have a direct HDMI hook up for my Genesis carts. I started reading, and youtube watching, some of the reviews of this one from Hyperkin and became very interested.


And let me emphasize that you will only get  the best experience with the original hardware. Then there is the Genesis system by Analogue which is a high end hardware clone. $200 is a lot of money for many of us. I am strictly a budget gamer. Low end is where I dwell when it comes to gaming. But at the same time I would like something simple and within my financial boundaries. If I want to hook up my original Genesis to one of my HD flatscreens, it is a pixel jaggie nightmare. But that is my only choice, I have no CRT, it died. The best you can do with the original hardware is get one of those up converters to HDMI.  The best ones are very expensive and it would be best if you just went with the alternative of the Analogue console. As for the cheap “up converters,” well, they are just not as good as the clone consoles with the HDMI output. They produce a blurr in the graphics.

I am not really a fan of Hyperkin products. Though I do enjoy the Supaboy portable. I had sort of gotten the impression that seemingly their research and development department was dead. And that they just repackaged their tech occasionally. Never heard or saw any improvements. But this Mega HD console is the first time I feel that my impression has changed.



Build and Design: It has a quality feel to it but I am wondering how much of that is deception. I know from watching youtube videos, of a console tear down, that there are metal weights inside. That is okay with me, it gives it better stability with the rubber feet, no sliding. Plastic thickness is acceptable and I am okay with it. I like the overall design and appeal, to me, it is attractive in its appearance. And I like the big blue “H” on the corner lighting up when the system is turned on. You have the usual “on & off” switch and “reset” button. Up front,two controller ports which are compatible with the original Sega brand controller. Outputs are analog and HDMI. You have a region switch, NTSC, PAL, JP, on the bottom and an aspect ratio switch, 4:3 or 16:9, on the back. One thing I like about inserting a cart is that the connector pins are close to the lid. This is far better than the Fei Hao console where I had difficulty inserting carts due to the depth and reach. Having no guide, like the original hardware, enables the system to accept different region carts, Japan vs NTSC. With the Fei Hao you are dealing with 1.5 inches vs a little under an inch with the Mega HD. Believe me it makes all the difference in the world. One is a straight shot and the other one is a feeling, hunting your way, blindly trying to hit the hole.



Video Out: The games look great, I say that with a bit of hesitation. It depends on the game and the mode of resolution. Low res games has jaggies due to the nature of the beast. I was very happy that my favorite shooter on the Genesis as it is in the high res mode, Bio Hazard Battle. It looks and plays beautiful, love it. With some games, there is something there, like Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition. Playing the game there was something in the background in some stages that I caught out of the corner of my eye, shimmering in the graphics? It could be seen in the vertical lines, just barely noticeable. Enough at the moment that I got a Hy-Yu-Ken against my head. But this only happens when you move in such a way that it causes the background to scale. I saw this in one other game so far. It could bother someone who is picky, but hey, for those that are like that, stick to the original hardware. And it runs Virtua Racing perfectly, totally pleased with it. I did have a bit of trouble at first, freezing during gameplay, red screen. But after cleaning the cart, no problems, runs great. Reproduction carts fit tight, but with the original carts, I didn’t really have any trouble. Colors are rich, some might be a slight bit over saturated, but I think that is limited to how the color pallet is used. Graphics are smooth. I understand that it works with the mega system converter. I do not have that to verify. I can verify that it works with the China Everdrive.

Audio: This has been a killer in the clone market for the Genesis games. This time I am pleasantly pleased at what I am hearing. Really not that bad. There is something in certain games that I can’t really put my finger on that makes me stop and say “huh?” There is some things, sounds, notes, that seem louder, at times. Some games “are” louder than others, don’t understand that. Other games I don’t notice anything that would seem out of place, or doesn’t distract me. Not sure how the audio is different in some games. But this is really the best that I have heard on a Genesis clone console, we are closer than we have ever been.

Controller: It comes with all the wiring, hook ups, so you can have it analog or HDMI, whatever. But it only includes one controller. Depends how you look at it, that can be a pro or a con. It is “okay.” I could play shooters with no problem. And I did not have any issues adjusting to it. It is really not that bad. I was able with some difficulty play Street Fighter 2. The only great thing it has going for it is that it has a ten foot cord. Since you will need a second controller, I would suggest getting the original hardware controller or a retro-bit one. The original fits like a glove, and only a retro gamer would understand that statement.

Final Word:
This is only one of those options for the HDMI problem. I am satisfied. It is, what it is, and it works for me. I purchased this system because it had a price drop, ca-ching $37,  at Walmart online or Amazon. I feel I got my money’s worth. Those who are a bit more picky may contend that you get what you pay for. I feel that it is the best Genesis clone out there, at the moment, that is a budget priced low end solution. Of course it is cart only, no way to attach the Sega CD or 32X. I am a bit surprised that Hyperkin is the one to give us Genesis HDMI gaming that really is a nice experience.

Still trying games, a Sega Genesis revival going on right now "in the house."

20
Retro Gaming and Hardware / Gamecube pulled out and playing!
« on: January 18, 2019, 06:36:11 AM »
A co-worker just purchased his first gamecube, came with a lot of games. Experiencing someone else's excitement and enthusiasm  has motivated me to pull out my cube and games. I have even purchased a couple games and am looking for more. I just realized that I only have around forty games for the system. That is not acceptable. I usually have a few games out for play on the Wii but with that console dead, got to get out the real thing. Love the "wavebird."

Viewtiful Joe is getting a revival.

21
Nintendo - Switch, 3DS, and Wii-U / My Wii U Experience......
« on: December 27, 2018, 09:32:03 PM »
With my Wii dying on me, I felt that the best replacement would be a Wii U. For just $40 I could have replaced my Wii with a Wii. But add $60 and I could upgrade to a Wii U black 32gb model. It is the most reasonable path to go and plus I have the backward compatibility with all my Wii game library. Highly recommend this for anyone that still plays their Wii when it dies.

Received my Wii U the day after Christmas. First game I played was Tatsunoko vs Capcom.  ;)
I ran by my local GameXchange, needed a charger for the gamepad, and picked up Nintendoland 95 cents and Skylanders Giants 95 cents. Grabbed up Bleach for the Wii $2.95. Impressed with the console. Nintendo would have had better success if they had named this something else and avoided the confusion. This console is not a Wii. I know that it had to maintain features so that it could have the previous generation compatibility, but this console is so much more than the Wii. I am looking forward to some of the games that take advantage of the system hardware. Already it was great that Skylanders Giant offered me the option to play on the gamepad large screen and not the TV. Although I understand that not all games give you that choice, it was still awesome. Been watching game reviews and gameplay on youtube. My list is growing. I will make some decisions this weekend on what will be next. The pad is not as heavy as I thought it would be and the screen is very responsive. So far, lovin it.

I think that I am the only one that can enjoy a game system out of its era, or generation. LOL
Especially one that is considered a flop. But remember, just because it "sort-of" failed in the gaming market, does not mean that it is a bad system.

This is the best time to purchase games for this console. Nobody wants the games anymore. LOL

22
I kept reading about this game. Watched some youtube gameplay and had to have it. Saw this on Amazon for $10 used with free shipping, sweet. I was surprised by what I have received. Looks in mint shape and unused. I had read that it does not play in the original SNES, only clone hardware. But my SNES is launch hardware, I know, I was there, picked it up personally. This thing works in my SNES, so there has been some kicking and knock out drag out fights goin on here. Two player coop, single player fun! This is from the same folks that brought us Unholy Night, except this was done right, with love.




23
General Discussion / Is this Game New??
« on: December 22, 2018, 11:23:03 AM »
This week I decided to purchase Time & Eternity for my PS3 from ebay. A used one was a few dollars less but being a few dollars I thought "hey" I will go ahead and purchase this game new. That way I would have the booklet and everything. When I received this yesterday, I noticed, there seems to be a couple of hole punches through the bar-code. It has what appears to be the original factory cellophane wrapper, folds, etc.  What is this? Has anyone ever purchase a game that was like this? Everything is crisp and new. It does not look used at all. The only other time that I have seen this is in a used or refurbished game.

I didn't know whether or not to post this in this section. But if we stay on topic, the subject of the packaging, then maybe it will be okay?




24
Retro Gaming and Hardware / Thanksgiving Day Marathon!!
« on: November 25, 2018, 11:02:57 AM »
Meant to post this Thanksgiving night, but.... not sure where to post this really.

5:00AM and it is that time again for smashing, shooting, and blowing your way through game after game! Rules are as follows,
1. Use up all your lives and record your high score, or progress, in a game.
2. Continues may be used and your highest score or progress recorded.
3. After your lives are used up, go to the next game. Mood swings determines your direction.
4. Must stop for food and bathroom breaks. We don't want any health or hygiene issues. (Wives are funny like that.)
Haven't played the game in a while? That adds fun to the challenge.

First stop XBOX 360
Death Smiles: The game is so gorgeous and fun to play. One of the best horizontal shooters. I took a chance and used one continue. I was afraid to go another, ended with 2,508,755.

Tried my digital download of Tempest on my 360. Whoa, well this is so embarrassing. It did not consider my score significant enough to acknowledge I had been playing. Sort-of like that first time, lost that quarter!

Breakfast break, (Elevator music playing, musical ensemble here of sax, horns, and electric piano which is also keeping the beat.)
Okay, I am back.


Esp galuoa 2, Black Label: Japan Import. This is a beautiful bullet hell vertical shooter. Even though I got a score of 9,887,712, I never made it out of the first level. At least I don't think I did. No wait I made to the second level, used only one continue. Bullet Hell shooters are confusing to me. I never know whether I am fighting a boss or a regular guy, you know? Very satisfying play.

Akai Katana: This game reminds me of Progear in its presentation. Another bullet hell shooter, more of a sort-of side scrolling horizontal shmup. Didn't last long but I did manage to score 1,219,059. That might have been by accident. Another satisfying play. Did try it in Novice mode in the end and I don't think my survival was that much improved though I was able to increase my score to 2,723,470.

Geometry Wars: 360 digital download. I so like this better on a my DS. Really bombed out at 18,175.


(What, they might not be able to have the balloons due to the wind? What is the use of having the parade if you can't have the balloons? Don't the Firemen have those round things to catch people? Now I know how Joker must have felt. “He took my balloons.” I can relate.)

SNES, or SFC
Honey I'm home.

Darius Twin: Familiar territory. It was games like this that was the reason I played in the 90's. This is the best Darius game on the SNES console. Been playing this off and on. Ended this with 2,629,900.


(paused* The levels are geared toward one thing and that is to lead you to the boss. Their purpose is to beat you down until you are a whimpering mess when you arrive.)

You want this? Come and get it. Want Earth? Not today. Not on my watch.

(Youtube live, Verizon has the best view of the MACY Parade. No interruptions like the Networks do and augmented reality. So cool.)

Cybernator: Shooting and blasting your way through the enemy contra style. I was short lived in this one. Second stage, meteors got me.

Metal Warriors: This must be the spiritual successor to Cybernator. Same type of game play only this is more intense which makes it more fun. Even though there is some English in the menus, seemingly a lot of the story is in another language on my cart. This is new to my collection, so it is still considered to be new to play. Didn't last through the first level, but it was fun. Get some! Get some! Get some!

Skyblazer: This is a surprisingly good platformer by SONY. The character has Spiderman's ability to stick to walls, which comes in handy. But at times it irritates me when I am trying to get to somewhere and I stick. Password enabled.


Vampire's Kiss: The big bull thing kept butting me into the hole in the ground. Didn't get very far.
Dracula X: Is this the same game? I didn't know. Oops! Aaagggh! Between those blasted bats, lizard men, and me jumping into the abyss on the third level! Now I feel like I must stop Christmas from coming.

Musya-Gousou Jinrai Densetsu: Sort-of an action platformer Samurai type game in a Nightmarish world. I find it hard. And I have to really get into it and play it a lot to get anywhere in it. It looks like not today.

Parodius Da!: Not my day. Did not get past the first stage boss.


Opps! Another break. Gotta help the Wife with fixing the meal so,

More elevator music.....


After our Thanksgiving Day Dinner I spent the afternoon learning how to repair a DS lite. I changed out the top screen and put the whole thing into another shell. I ended up also doing one for my Wife, a Pokemon Yellow.


Getting some funny colors on that top screen. The hinge was broken and cutting the ribbon.



25
Microsoft - Xbox One and Xbox 360 / New Xbox One Digital Only?
« on: November 19, 2018, 09:26:58 PM »
I am starting to see a lot of hub bub concerning the possibility that Microsoft may release an Xbox One that will be digital only and no disc drive. Possible of a program where you turn in your games for a download code. Some of the argument is lower cost for the console. I started thinking about this and wondered, even though the $200 price point was thrown around, what price point would cause to go all digital? What would they have to sell the Xbox One "all digital" before you would lean in that direction? If they could come out with a killer game line up, which, too me, seems lacking at this point, would that tempt some gamers to jump on board? Is the time ripe? Digital download does seem to be a big part of the industry.

What say you?

26
Retro Gaming and Hardware / The SwanCrystal Console
« on: October 22, 2018, 12:43:45 PM »
Just thought I would share. Had mine out this past week. Initially designed by Gunpei Yokoi. 15 hours of gaming on a single AA battery. Reflective screen technology. Graphics, gameplay and animation that rivaled the GBA.  This was a 16bit system. It had a short life but it was good while it lasted. It was an RPG gamers dream come true console. Had tons of them, but never left Japan. Even though I do have the Final Fantasy series, I can't play anything but English friendly stuff like fighters, puzzle, and platformers. The Digimon stuff that was ported to the GBA is better gaming on this system, graphics, gameplay, feel. And not everything was ported.

My English Friendly game list:
Digimon Battle Spirit
Digimon: Zero Two
Digimon Battle Spirit 1.5
Battle Spirit: Digimon Tamers
Digimon: Veedraman Verson
Buffers Evolution
Guilty Gear Petite 1
Guilty Gear Petite 2
Puyo Puyo
Puyo Puyo 2
Bust-A-Move
Klonoa: Moonlight Museum
One Piece Swan Colosseum
Lime Rider Keroikan
SD Gundam Operation UC (repetitive shooter action)
Pocket Fighter
Gundam Seed (There is a need to know Japanese to get the most out of the story, other than that it serves as a shooter. I do have the anime movie so I do know sort-of what is going on.)














27
Retro Gaming and Hardware / The Gradius Experience
« on: October 18, 2018, 12:07:42 PM »
I took my fall Vacation this week. Always in October. Been retro gaming and found myself going through Gradius on my SNES. Back in the SNES era there were two games I brought home with my SNES, Gradius and R-Type. Yeah Mario was the pack-in but I wanted to save the Galaxy. At one point I thought slow down was my friend. But go through this game on normal only to be rewarded with a restart in hard mode, stripped down to nothing, bullet hell going on now, faster enemies, and slow down becomes a nightmare. Still this is one awesome game that still packs a punch for me after all these years. It feels so good just to sit back and hack my way through this, again, and again, and again. There are some places in this game I know where to sit and let my "options" do the deed. That is if that nasty scorpion doesn't steel them. I learned a long time ago that you watch your ship and spend your time dodging bullets while holding down, or tapping, the fire button. This game rocks!  8)











28
Retro Gaming and Hardware / N64 and its Fighters
« on: September 09, 2018, 02:50:12 PM »
When it comes to fighters the N64 is not known for having any. I think the reason why is because there are no CAPCOM or SNK fighters on the N64 console. This did leave a big void in the “fighter genre” game library of the system. As a retro gamer it is interesting just to look back and play through the N64 library of fighters. I  judged those that are available on their own merit. Can they stand on their own as a capable fighter? One must remember that many of the fighters, of the competing game systems, that they were up against, was also blocky, 2D’ish, and had limited detail in their characters. Looking at the same similar type fighters, two stand out as having set the standard at the end of that generation, Tekken and Virtua Fighter. CAPCOM really is the one who started the fire. SNK made a big impact in the arcades right in the middle of the fight. Standing here at this point in gaming, you take a different perspective when revisiting. There is no shadow of those popular big fighting games intimidating or thumbing their noses at the N64. Street Fighter, Tekken, and Virtua Fighter were the kings in their day.

I love a good fighting game. But I think that fighting games where a phenomenon of 90s. That was the height of their popularity. And I think the driving force behind that, was that period in gaming history. Arcades played a major role as did the gaming systems of that time. There was so much competitiveness between companies to release the best game to draw crowds. Arcades were the experimental proving grounds.

As the ports of fighters came home, and arcades began closing, this led to a winding down of genre. More powerful consoles resulted in a change in the industry and new directions in gaming. Gamers moved on with those changes. A new fighter being released today does not have the same impact as it did back in those days.

I really think that the N64 and its fighters are an acquired taste. What do you think?

29
Retro Gaming and Hardware / N64: Super Smash Bros. Review
« on: September 09, 2018, 11:13:45 AM »
This review is taken from a series of reviews I did a couple of years ago concerning the fighters available for the N64.

If there is one thing that Nintendo has accomplished, it is, establishing likable familiar video game characters. Those characters are what has charted the pathway of Nintendo’s success as a video game company. Seemingly Nintendo has built their hardware around the games hosting these characters. Each and everyone of those franchises has their fan base that eagerly waits for the next big game with their beloved characters. It was pure genius on someone’s part to take those characters, group them all together, and place them into a fighting game. You have an instant seller.
ssb3

Yes I purchased the Japanese version. It was a lot cheaper than the US one.

Odd, I have had a difficult time getting into this fighter. One of the hindrances has been, I do not find it as appealing as the previous fighters. Maybe it is just me, but I enjoy these characters in their original gaming environment. Another hindrance has been the difficulty I am finding in learning to control my fighter. The control does not seem as tight as I am accustom to, nor find in other fighters. Maybe it is just the button configuration. Maybe there is an awkwardness in using the characters in a way that I am not familiar. I want to control Samus Aran. But I am becoming frustrated. At first I thought it was the controller, but no, even after changing out controllers I am still having what seems like a slight hesitation, or slugishness, even a floatiness. Maybe some of this is just the N64 controller itself. I end up feeling that I am getting a lot of “cheap shots” from my opponent. That rubs my fur the wrong way when I sit down to a game and this hits me in the face. (No pun intended.) Yes I know this is a beloved Nintendo fan’s dream game which has become a franchise in and of itself. But it just suddenly struck me that maybe this is not a game for everyone. I went into this thinking that it was, ……. surprise. It is fan based, but I see this game as one for the younger Nintendo audience, Family time, or a multiplayer party game. And I think that this is the target audience, and the intent, in the game design. I am not finding it satisfying as a single player experience. But, as in every other game, the key to success is learning to become one with your fighter.



The graphics and stage designs are only as Nintendo can put together, awesome and excellent. The character animations are a joy. In each stage you have different platforms, at different heights, to fight from as well as ringouts to deal with. The stages are familiar as the concepts are taken from each fighter’s own games. The welcome powerups add to the fast pace chaotic fighting. You get a percentage marked against you, and increases, as you are hit. All of this, as a whole, adds to the depth of the gameplay. Making it a deeper game than it might first appear. This is a 2D fighter in a pseudo 3D environment.

This is a game that I personally did not find intuitive in the game’s controls. I think I went into it with expectations that this was just another fighting game with familiar controls. You really have to set back and strip away all of that from your thinking, especially if you are a fighting game fan. Nintendo does its best to maintain each character’s familiar signature moves. This changes the feel of the game as a traditional fighter. And pulling off some of the moves can prove to be difficult in the fast paced gameplay. It becomes a game in which you “learn to play” in order to succeed. And that is not a bad thing. Your approach is the same as with any other new game. You learn how to play it to get the most out of the experience. As a gamer, we do this without thinking all the time. It has a built in tutorial showing you how to play.



Due to the nature of this game in its party design, and gameplay, it became a system seller. No other fighter offers a better simultaneous four player experience on this system. (It almost borderlines Bomberman status in my book.) And largely in part, because of the draw of familiar, and popular, characters from the Nintendo universe it has been another one of those instant Nintendo successes.

I did finally find my fighter and I had fun with this game. Please don’t interpret my review as being negative. I approached this from the perspective of a fan of the fighting genre. Personally I think that if this game had been introduced in the arcades during the 90’s this would have been up there with the best. I rate this game as “system seller.” This game goes to the top of my list of N64 fighters. And that is mainly due to the multiplayer madness.

Mario dressed as Wario with a light saber in the Star Fox stage, priceless.


30
Retro Gaming and Hardware / N64: Fighter Destiny 2 Review
« on: September 08, 2018, 05:23:48 PM »
This review is taken from a series of reviews I did a couple of years ago concerning the fighters available for the N64.

The first thing I notice is the title, “Fighters” has now become “Fighter.” Some legality concerning the name or something? Not sure. This is the second game and you might have high expectations of great improvements. Or maybe something completely new. But what we have here is a well oiled machine. There are noticeable graphical improvements and a more fluid animation in the characters. Added stages and backgrounds. Some of the Fighters are missing and replaced by new ones. The one fighter I learned to use, is missing, and replaced by what looks like a Los Angeles club dancer. Replaced, meaning that, she controls the same and has all of her moves. So, for me, she was easy for me to take control. Not sure if the other new fighters inherited the missing fighter’s moves. Something to discover as the games are played.



But this is the same game, except that it has been tweaked and now has a more polished feel. They basically improved the quality of the experience in the game. I do remember that the first game did not have a story. Guess what? It still does not have a story. Or at least it is not communicated in the game. Maybe in the booklet? I don’t have the booklet. I really don’t need a story, but it does add that umph to a fighter which many gamers find it completes the experience. A story also gives that certain personality to a game in which a gamer can identify with in their imagination. I mention this because they had the perfect opportunity to add a story.



The gameplay is the same. All of the options are the same as the first game. You can still adjust the amount of points for the different throws, knockouts, ringouts, etc. You can still determine how many points needed to end the match. But there is something new to this second game which is an added plus. It is a game mode that reminds me of a board game. Where you land determines who you will have to fight. In this mode you learn new moves and build your character. So you would need to pick the fighter you intend to use regularly. You spin, move forward the number of moves determined by the spinner, fight, win a new move, spin again, repeat. Like a board game.



 This game does have that “Wow” factor. If you do not have the other game, I would recommend this one. But they are both so inexpensive any fan of the genre would probably want them both. Like me, I want them both. In this second installment, the fighters look less chunky with a slight more detail, prettier. (There are still those “awkward” designed characters present.) Game includes 12 characters with 4 to unlock. This is a very good game that is loaded with a lot of fun. This is one of the best fighters on the N64. I give it a big thumbs up and rate it as “Awesome Game.”


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