Sunday, October 30, 2011

Transform and Nerd Out!

Call it a hunch, but I  think
this is the place.

It's no secret that the game of pinball has seen better seen better days. Facing a steady decline in popularity over the past two decades, new machine releases are few and far between, and as such, a cause for celebration. So when I heard about a local pinball tournament featuring Stern's new Transfomers machine, I couldn't stay away.

Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea. Like multiplayer FPS games and math, I absolutely suck at pinball. However, giant robots, games, and the promise of fabulous cash and prizes are four of my favorite things.

The event was held at Kidforce Collectibles, a comic book and game shop right down the road in Berea, Ohio. If my imagination hadn't been destroyed by 25 years video gaming, this would be my go-to place for tabletop and card games. As an added bonus, the owner is an avid pinball collector, and keeps four tables in the back of the store.
Inside Kidforce Collectibles. What a cool place!
After asking Eric--the unofficial tournament official--for a few quick pointers (basically "where do I aim for multiball?"), I gladly paid my $5 entry fee and gave it a whirl. 

...Dude, this table is fast! 

Launching the ball sends it to the bumpers at the top/left of the playfield, which in turn have about an 80% chance of dropping it into Megatron, directly underneath. Megatron's a dick. He holds onto your ball for a second and then hurls it at your flippers at about 1,000 mph, slightly off center. It's a dirty trick that'll drain you at least once, guaranteed.

It's a migraine headache disguised as a pinball machine.
Coincidentally, shooting Megatron four times is the easiest way to get multiball, so assuming this is your goal, you're constantly trying to deflect those off-center cheap shots. Great.

Preoccupied with nailinng Megatron's shiny multi-balls, my first game was pretty short, and got me nowhere close to the leaderboard.

 Undeterred, I handed over another $5 and took a approach this time around, which turned out to be a much more effective way to score points on this table. With all of the targets, ramps, missions, and special geegaws, it's almost impossible not to hit something good with every shot up the playfield. At one point, I manged to raise a ramp and hit Optimus Prime square in his Matrix of Leadership. Poor guy.
More pinball machines line the back of the store.

Finally, I activated multiball, which was a great way for a nub like me to score some points. With four or five balls whizzing around the table, activating ridiculous strobe lights and explosions, screaming robots, and whatever else the masochists over at Stern crammed into this pinball machine, the game gets pretty overwhelming and pretty awesome.

After I'd recovered from the seizures onset by the flashing lights, I picked myself up from the floor and was delighted to find that I'd scored over 7,000,000 points, which put me in second place on the bottom bracket. The top bracket was reserved for people that actually knew what they were doing.

Unfortunately, a previous engagement later in the day prevented me from competing in the playoffs, but I was happy with my performance all the same. My wife, with whom I was celebrating my third anniversary assures me that I made the right decision.

All told, I had a great time at Kidforce Collectibles, and I'll be back with another fistful of quarters--I have a score to settle with that jerk, Megatron.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Before they were classics

Welcome back!

I thought I'd wrap up "Who am I?" week with a look at a few of my favorite NES games from my childhood. What better way to get to know a gamer than through the games he plays, right?

In all honesty, the idea for this post started as a look at all of my favorite games from my collection, but there were just way too many. I'm sure you can relate! 

That said, here are a handful of my top NES games!

Mega Man 2 (NES)
This copy of Mega Man 2 is the same copy that was given to me for my eighth birthday, 21 years ago. Honestly, I don't know how my parents knew to get me what is, inarguably, one of the best NES games of all time. Also, I didn't know that it was more of the more difficult games to be released for the system, either. I just played it and was happy. 

The music, the bosses, excellent control, and straightforward gameplay--it was enough to keep me hooked until I'd finished it, which--looking back-- is a pretty high accomplishment for an eight year old. With all of the repetition required getting to that point, it's one of the few NES games that I can pick up and still be any good at.

Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
Along with California Games, Super Mario 2 was one of the games my brothers and I got with our Nintendo back in the Christmas of 1988. And while a lot of people dismiss the game for being so different from the rest in the series, that's precisely the reason I love it (well, that and the healthy dose of nostalgia I hold for it).

At this point, it's no secret that SMB2 is just a reskinned version of the Super Famicom game Doki Doki Panic, but in spite of that, some elements of the game, like carrying and throwing enemies are now mainstays of the series. Heck, the amazing ragtime music of the character select screen and overworld are reason enough to own a copy this game. Plus, it's a great challenge. I finished it a couple of times back in my youth, but I doubt I'd have much luck if I tried now.

Jackal (NES)
This battle will make your blood boil! Good luck!

I first played this game at Eric Stanton's house (I wonder what he's up to these days?) and have loved it ever since. But it wasn't unil probably a decade later that I owned my own copy.

Jackal is the most obscure game on my list, but it's also one of the most fun. A port of the 1986 arcade game, Jackal adds some unique twists to the standard shoot-em-up formula that almost put it in a genre of its own. And while I could go on about the nifty front-only firing machine gun, upgradable weaponry, clever "choose your own adventure" level design, and incredible Konami Drum Machine soundtrack, the real attraction here is being able to run over the tiny enemy soldiers as you tear through the enemy base. They make the most satisfying little "squish" sound. It's a lot for an eight year old to handle.

Ducktales (NES)
Ducktales ah-oooo-oo!

I distinctly remember saving up all of my allowance and birthday money, and buying this game from Toys 'R' Us. In 1989, I don't think I was quite old enough to understand how money really worked, but I was proud all the same. And yup, that's the same copy I bought way back then.

Funny thing about it is I didn't buy Ducktales because it was a good game (actually, it's a great game); I bought it because I liked Ducktales. That was a really lucky break on my part because licensed games have a pretty reliable track record of being absolutely terrible.

As a "wee lad," as Scrooge would say, I got endless enjoyment  out of bouncing him around on his cane like a pogo stick, and collecting every last hidden ruby in hopes of earning the best ending. And as an added plus, the game's a cake walk--and what kid doesn't like winning?


I showed you mine--what are yours? I'd love to hear what some of your favorite game are, old or new. Leave your list in the comments below, and thanks for playing along!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What the Wednesday: It's-a Lunch Time!

It's day two of Mr. Nintendo's "who are you?" week! (I swear I'm going to get "Mr. Nintendo" to stick.) And as such, today's What the Wednesday treasure is something very near and dear to me. I present to you my Super Mario Brothers lunch box:

My friends, it really doesn't get any more legit than this.

My faithful peanut butter and jelly sandwich-toting companion through first and second grade, this 23-year-old relic from my childhood managed to escape every garage sale and Goodwill donation pile. Thank goodness.

When I took it down from the window sill where it's proudly displayed, I was reminded of the time that Aaron Husted tried to convince me that he'd found a secret "ninja suit" in Super Mario 3, and he refused to tell me how to get it. What a bastard!

What piece of gaming gear has been in your collection the longest? Share in the comments below!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1988 Was a Very Good Year

Heeding a suggestion made by the CFO here at Backward Compatible (better known as my wife), I'm using this week to introduce myself to all of you nice enough to read my blog. For others, this series of posts will serve as a great way to put a face on that hate mail you've been sending me.

Me eating another Odyssey II. I can't help it; those things are delicious
I grew up as a child of the '80s in the suburbs of picturesque Cleveland, Ohio with my two older brothers. Naturally, this means that I wasted formative years in front of the TV watching Saturday morning cartoons and playing Nintendo. Remember when Saturday morning cartoons were awesome?

My first experience with video games stems back to when I was just a wee nerdling, when I famously chewed through the power cord of my family's Magnavox Odyssey II like some sort of rodent. And by the fact that I'm alive to type this, we can only assume it wasn't plugged in. Or maybe it was--that could explain my terrible memory.

Years later, (say 1988?) I got my first taste of Nintendo at a friend's house. His name was Dino Mayo and his parents hated each other. And while that's a pretty crappy situation to grow up in, you can't deny the positive effect marital turbulence can have on an only child's toy chest: not only did Dino have a complete Laser Tag set (helmets and all), but he also had an NES in his room.  

I distinctly remember spending hours locked away in his poorly lit bedroom playing Super Mario Brothers, Adventures of Bayou Billy, and T&C Surf Designs on a 13" television. This was incredible for a first grader back in 1988. Today, that'd be pretty sad.

Soon after, it occurred to me that every kid in the neighborhood had a Nintendo except for me. Aaron Husted had one, Arnold and Jimmy had one, Nick Cortis across the street played his on a ridiculous movie projector, and hell, the kid down the street with the awesome tree house had three Nintendos. Three!

My original copy of California Games.
You're talking to the footbag champ of 1990.
At some point, I think my parents noticed that I'd unabashedly ride my bike from one house to the next playing whenever and wherever I could. Tetris, Classic Concentration, Mario 2, TMNT--for a kid without a Nintendo, I was playing a heck of a lot of it!

Most likely afraid of an impending abduction, an NES Action Set of my own found its way under the tree that Christmas, complete with Mario 2 and California Games (which I still have). And in a Nintendo 64 kid moment of triumph, I pulled the console from the box, raised it above my head, and proclaimed "Say hello to Mr. Nintendo!" It's unclear whether I was talking about the console or myself, but hey, I was seven--it sounded good at the time.

Now that I think about it, I wish people would call me "Mr. Nintendo."

So that's my story. What's yours? I'd love to hear your about your earliest gaming memories. Leave a comment below!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

8-Bit Bottle Blonde

My NES has been getting a lot of much needed attention lately. I swapped out the old girl's 72-pin connector, cleaned up dozens of cartridges with chrome polish, and now I'm finishing up the extensive rehabilitation program with an easy exterior makeover. Somebody get Tyra on the phone.

Taking advantage of this weekend's unexpectedly sunny weather, I once again donned the peroxide cream and plastic wrap, just like in the great SNES experiment, to reverse the disgusting yellow tinge set on by 25 years of sun exposure.

I was very interested to see how the peroxide treatment would work on a less tragic case of yellowing. Unlike the SNES, which suffered from one of the worst cases of yellowing I'd ever seen, its older sister wasn't in nearly as bad shape, showing just a light yellow tint on the upper case.

After just a few hours in the sun, the results speak for themselves:

Notice the slightly yellow tint on the "before" side? It's completely
gone after a slathering of peroxide cream and a little sun bathing.

However, the peroxide cream appears to have ever so slightly discolored the red lettering on the front of the system:

Unlike on the SNES, it looks like the lettering has reacted adversely
to the peroxide treatment. Not enough to get upset about.

The issue with the lettering doesn't bother me nearly as much as the yellowing did, so I'm happy. However, in the future, I'll consider taping over any that I don't want changing color...then I won't, because I'm lazy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What the Wednesday: Energize the Nova Suit!

Remember when I packed my TurboGrafx back into the box, and then promptly unpacked it in front of a camera?

Aside from the console, controller, and cords,  NEC was nice enough to throw a game into the mix. (Of course, in 1989 that was the norm.) However, the pack-in was Keith Courage in Alpha it really wasn't anything to brag about. And it definitely wasn't a system seller.

Check it out, bro! Keith Courage in Alpha Zones!

Keith who in what now?

For this week's What the Wednesday (don't be confused; I know it's Thursday), I'm giving you a closer look at the best reason to own Keith Courage: the cheesy comic book that came along with the game.

Click to enlarge, and prepare finally understand the dark origins of Keith Courage! who else feels painfully wounded?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We're swabbin' some slots!

If you're cleaning your NES cartridges, you can go
ahead and ignore all of these warnings.
Last weekend, I replaced the 72-pin connector in my NES. And as I noted at the end of the post, the blinking screen/power light issue was improved, but not completely gone.

To make matters worse, the wretched Cleveland winter is nearly upon us, and my coinciding plans of getting progressively fatter and lazier are in peril. If I have to sit up and wheeze into these NES games several times per day over the course of the next six months, I'm at serious risk remaining just doughy and mostly lazy.

Something must be done. And soon.

Since I know that the NES isn't at fault, I can make the logical conclusion (I went to college, after all) that my cartridges are to blame. And why not? With two decades of gunk and corrosion built up on those delicate copper connectors, it's a wonder they work at all.

Luckily, the Internet is full of techniques for cleaning game cartridges. So in the name of science, and as an investment in future laziness, I decided to take three of the most popular methods--rubbing alcohol, pencil erasers, and metal polish--and put them to the test against three of the dirtiest, nastiest games from my collection. Here are the results:

3rd Place: Pencil Eraser
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game

Super jank

Blinking gray screen

Initially, I was pretty skeptical when I read that people were using pencil erasers to clean their cartridges, but I guess it makes sense. After all, a rubber eraser should be gentle enough to wipe away gunk and corrosion without taking the delicate copper connectors with it.

This cart already had plenty of problems, then I added
hundeds of tiny bits of pencil eraser.
There's a slight problem, though. To do a really thorough job, I needed to take the cartridge apart to really get in there with the eraser. Normally, I wouldn't have a problem with this, but unlike the NES console, Nintendo decided to screw the cartridges together using some wacky security bits, and I don't own the correct driver.

I can buy the tool here (but I'm too cheap and impatient), or just jam the eraser into the slot in the cartridge and hope for the best. Neither seems like a great option.

In the end, I succeeded only in adding a load of pink eraser shrapnel to the myriad problems this cartridge has. No apparent change in corrosion.

While I managed to get the game fired up after three attempts, I'm going to go ahead and call this test "inconclusive" until I'm able to take apart the cartridge and do a better job.

This is the cleanin' kind, not the drinkin' kind.
Runner-Up: Rubbing Alcohol + Cotton Swab
Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt

Moderate amounts of jank

Blinking title screen

I can't even begin to count the number of times I've been told to never, ever clean a game cartridge with rubbing alcohol. In fact, "Don't clean with alcohol, stupid" is printed inside of every NES game manual. However, when the owner of a local game store told me that this is how he maintains his Neo Geo collection (!), I decided it was good enough for my NES carts. After all, alcohol evaporates almost instantly, which is certainly better than most other cleaning solutions (especially anything water based).

This cart looks okay in the picture, but think someone
(unsuccessfully) tried to take it apart.
The technique here is simple: dip a cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and then scrub the heck out of the connectors, changing swabs frequently. You can stop once the swabs no longer come out black.

And swabbed I did. As a precautionary measure, I wiped the connectors down with a paper towel to ensure everything was dry before testing.

Initially, the rubbing alcohol removed a slight amount of corrosion from the connectors, but continued effort yielded little improvement. The game operated normally after two attempts

Add some bling to Jimmy and Bimmy.
(Tweet me if you get that reference. )
Winner: Metal Polish + Cotton Swab
Double Dragon III

Considerable jank

Blinking gray screen

Whether you're talking about paint, metal, plastic, or whatever, polishing works the same way: you're using a mild abrasive to clear away tiny scratches and imperfections on the surface, leaving behind a smooth and shiny finish. I read reports that brass polish and cooktop cleaner work well on NES cartridges, however, I had a bottle of Mothers chrome polish in the garage, so that's what I used.
Again, I was skeptical at the idea of polishing clean the connectors on an NES cart. After all, with just a cotton swab, how will I get the leverage necessary to help the abrasive in the polish do its job?

Ugh. Now that's a result.
I dabbed a small amount of polish onto the cotton swab (not directly into the cartridge slot), and much like the rubbing alcohol, scrubbed and scrubbed until the swabs came out clean, then followed it up with a paper towel for good measure.

It was almost hard to believe the amount of crap that the polish cleaned out of the cartridge. In fact, it was pretty disgusting.

Also, I'm not ashamed to admit that I grunted with great satisfaction--in much the way I imagine a cave man grunts at fire--when Double Dragon III started up on the very first try.

My very unscientific experiment yielded some surprising results. I was fully expecting the rubbing alcohol to work best, but polish proved to be the victor. What's more, I went back and hit Mario Bros. and TMNT with the polish, and cleaned out gobs of nastiness that was the other methods left behind. That's all the proof I need.

So go forth and polish those slots!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blow and Jiggle? Time for NESurgery.

My NES leaves a lot to be desired
both functionally and aesthetically.

Some blow until they're blue in the face. Others jiggle it in the slot until they get it just right. And many do both in a complicated voodoo ritual wrought with profanity and inevitable disappointment.

Whatever your preferred method, the blinking power light of peril is a fact of life for many retro gamers. Sitting down for a quick game of Bad Dudes on your front-loading (toaster) NES is rarely the seamless experience it was back when your were just a wee Bad Dude-ling.
The reason for this is a sad one: just like yourself, these things are getting old and crusty. And while there's not a great deal you can do for your games besides a good cleaning (swabbing the connectors with a little rubbing alcohol does the trick), there's hope for your trusty 8-bit Nintendo.   

Buried deep inside that gray box (or in my case, grayish box), you'll find a 72-pin connector attached to the motherboard. It looks like this:
The 72-pin connector inside every front-loading NES
connects your games to the motherboard

Digging deeper.

And as you'd expect, after seeing thousands of cartridges, all those nasty rental games, and the odd peanut butter sandwich, that thing's pretty worn out. So why not replace it?
It's suprisingly easy! You just need a new connector from Amazon and a smallish Phillips head screwdriver from your garage.

Next, start removing screws. Seriously. It's pretty clear that back in 1985 Nintendo wasn't counting on kids like you and me taking their new NES's apart, because it couldn't be easier. For directions, check out this writeup. He does a great job walking you through the process.

Here's a mega closeup of the old and new connectors:  

As you can see, the pins on the old connector are pretty well shot. The new connector's pins, however, appear to be made of gold...and that can't hurt, right?

At this point, you can slide off the old connector
and replace it with the new one.

The process is easy enough where you shouldn't think twice about giving it a shot if your NES is giving you a bunch of back sass. It took me no more than 30 minutes, and I stopped for frequent photo opportunities.   
The funny thing is, once I got everything back together, I discovered that my A/C adapter was toast (luckily I had another). Even worse; the first game I plugged in didn't work right away--and sonofabitch--the stupid thing fired right up as soon as I blew into it.  

Looks like I have a date with a box of Q-tips and some rubbing alcohol.

I'm bad!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

S-Video Comparo!

Well before anyone was connecting a next-generation console to a next-generation TV with a next-generation HDMI cable, video options for something Super Nintendo and PS1 weren't nearly as exotic. However, they weren't completely limited.

S-video/composite combo cables
 Most of us (myself included) got by with those wonky screw-in RF connectors or composite connectors (you know, the red/white/yellow jobbies), and in our defense, we didn't know any better. But if you were a real baller, you were rocking Donkey Kong Country through S-video.

Unlike composite connectors, which use a single plug to transmit video data to your television, S-video (short for "super video") takes a two-pronged approach. Look inside an S-video cable and you'll see four tiny pins: two pins carry gray scale data, and the other two take care of the color, effectively doubling the video bandwidth over a composite video cable. Not bad, huh?

So how's it look? See for yourself:

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (click for more detail)
  A dark, 2-D game like SOTN is a perfect forum to show off the advantages to S-video. See the added color depth across Richter Belmot's shoulders, and the crispness of the sprites on his scabbard? And take a look at the background; the composite image looks positively muddy in comparison.

Some might argue that the composite image has a nice, smoothed appearance. However, when the sprites start moving, you'll notice a lot of blurring (especially when you're looking this close). S-video keeps those same sprites nice and tidy. The same holds true for on-screen text.

I definitely recommend giving S-video a try on your older consoles. Just about every modern flat panel TV has at least one S-video input, and quite a few CRTs support it, too. And heck--it's the best you're going to do on SNES, PS1, and Saturn.

Check out the slideshow below for even more examples (including that Donkey Kong Country I mentioned). Click any of the images for more detail:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What the Wednesday: SmartJoy FRAG for Xbox

This week's look into the weird and wonderful side of gaming starts with a confession:

I'm a dirty, rotten cheater. There. I said it.

For someone like me that grew up alongside first-person shooters, there's always been something...lacking about controlling them with anything but a mouse and keyboard. Heck, I remember when you could get by fine with just a keyboard.

Enter Halo 2.

Released on November 9, 2004, Master Chief's second adventure brought with it a robust and active multiplayer component via Xbox Live--a feature sorely missing from the first game. And once you've played through the single-player campaign, the competitive and addictive multiplayer game is really what'll keep you coming back for more.

To keep matches as even as possible, Xbox live balanced teams based on your player rank. For example, if one team had five rank 10 players, the other team might have one rank 20, a rank 15, and three rank fives. Numerically, it's still an even match.

I wasn't very good at shooters (and I'm still not), so I'd be one of those rank five meat bags pulling down the rest of my team. After long enough, I was convinced that the Xbox's gamepad (which is admittedly decent) was the weakest part of my game.

Being a resourceful young chap, I tracked down one of these:

This handy little device is called a SmartJoy FRAG, made by (the now defunct) Lik-Sang. Simply plug it into the controller port and you're ready to connect any PS/2 keyboard and mouse to your Xbox. And the best part? It works!

Without any fanfair, it allows you to transfer your PC setup to your Xbox. Plus, you can dabble in more advanced features like mouse deadzone calibration--all with a couple keystrokes.

It's not perfect for every situation (for instance, it made driving vehicles almost impossible), and there's really no point in using it for anything but first-person shooters, but it's still darn good.

I know what you're thinking: "Hey! That's an unfair advantage!" And you're right. The SmartJoy FRAG notably improved my FPS game. I went from an awful Halo 2 player to a remarkably average one.

I told you was bad.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Where does he get those wonderful toys? it's not just for whores and drug addicts anymore!

Have you been to a store lately? More accurately, have you been to a video game store recently? Jeez, games are expensive! Honestly, how many people are lining up outside of Gamestop to pay $50 for a copy of Champion Jockey?

If you aren't bound and determined to own the latest in cutting-edge horse racing simulations, there are plenty of ways to get more giddyup out of your 50 buckaroos. My favorite way to save is Craigslist.

For the uninitiated, Craigslist, launched in 1995 by San Francisian Craig Newmark, is essentially the Internet's garage sale: mostly a bunch of baby clothes, picture frames with photos of people you don't know, and outdated furniture. But every now and then, you'll find something you can actually use, like video games. And whores.

Since this is a blog about video games, I'll stick to the former.

Your first step is to find the Video Gaming section of your local Craigslist page. It's the very last link in the for sale box.

Give it a click and you'll be innundated with local ads for consoles, games, and accessories. Don't be shy--start clicking.

This is where it pays to be a little flexible. Sure, you can use the search box within the video gaming listings if you're looking for something in particular, but that sort of convenience often comes at a premium. That's why Champion Jockey costs $50 at Gamestop. Instead, shop with an open mind. (By the way, Faxanadu for the NES is totally worth $3 if you stumble on it.)

The more cost effective strategy is to keep an eye out for lots of games--or even better--a console with a bunch of games included, like this ad:

This guy's selling an Xbox, five controllers (seriously...five?) and 12 games for $75. That's a pretty decent deal, but what if you already have an xbox and a reasonable amount of controllers? How much do you think he'd take for just the games? $30? Assuming they all have their cases and manuals, that's not a bad deal for 11 decent games plus the Matrix.

Here's what I do. Email. Always email.

Click the "reply to" link at the top of the page and fire off an email to the seller. Be explicit in the subject line (like "Xbox-and-games-for-sale-on-Craigslist," explicit, not "Hot-beef-injection" explicit), state what the email is in regards to, ask if he'd be willing to sell the games separate from the system, and how much he'd be looking to get.

Don't make an offer yet.

When (if) he gets back to you, you'll be in the envious position of being able to make a counter offer. Now you're bargaining down, and not up. See how that works? And if he wants way too much for the games or won't split the items up, you haven't insulted the seller with some lowball offer.

Assuming you can come to a mutually agreeable amount, this is the point where you get to go pick up your stack of games. In my experience, people are usually good and honest, but generally, you'll want to meet in a public place to make the exchange. Sometimes it'll be necessary to meet at their house, like if you want to see something working before you buy.

After you're done trolling the Video Games section, swing by the general search box on the front page before you leave. It looks like this:

What you're searching for here are games, consoles, etc. that aren't categorized in the video gaming category. Like this:

Ads like this are awesome. These are people that have what you want and don't care enough to categorize it correctly, or value it enough to list it separately from the other junk they're selling. I searched for "Dreamcast" and it turns out that this lady was selling a Genesis, Saturn, and a Dreamcast at her garage sale. Nice. 

So go forth, conquer Craigslist, and be cheap! Sure, you're going to get plenty of unresponsive sellers or deals that generally just fall apart, but I guarantee that your determination will pay big dividends.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Recent Pickups Episode 2

Sega Saturn (Version 1)
Release Date:  May 11, 1995
Acquired From: Crazy hoarder lady that claimed she was "moving"
Condition: Passable
Notes: Looking forward to getting my hands on some Japanese import games. 
Daytona USA
Console: Sega Saturn
Release Date: April 1, 1995
Developer: Sega AM2
Publisher: Sega
Condition: Cheesed manual, good case and disc
Acquired From: Crazy hoarder that claimed she was "moving"
Notes: The game is fun, but the music is epic. "Daaaaaaaytoooooonaaaaa!"

Bug Too!
Console: Sega Saturn 
Release Date: November 30, 1996Developer: Realtime Associates
Publisher: Sega
Condition: Pretty darn good
Acquired From: Crazy hoarder that claimed she was "moving"
Notes: Worth more than I paid for all the Saturn stuff in this post. Sweet!
Sonic 3D Blast
Console: Sega Saturn 
Release Date: November 30, 1996
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: Sega
Condition: Crack on the case, but I'll take it
Acquired From: Crazy hoarder that claimed she was "moving"
Notes: Screen movement makes me want to barf, however, most modern Sonic games make me want to barf, too.

Clockwork Knight
Console: Sega Saturn
Release Date: May 11, 1995
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Condition: Tagged disc, missing manual. So sad.
Acquired From: Crazy hoarder that claimed she was "moving"
Notes: Anyone have an extra manual for Clockwork Knight? It's probably mine.

Triple Play 2000
Console: Nintendo 64
Release Date: March 22, 1999
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Condition: Loose and super clean, like some guy I know
Acquired From: Birthday gift!
Notes: Created by Americans, digitized by Canadians

Legend of Mana
Console: Sony Playstation
Release Date: June 7, 2000
Developer: Square
Publisher: Square
Condition: Extra minty!
Acquired From: The very first donation to the Backward Compatible Video Game Blog fund! Thanks bro!
Notes: The sequel to one of my favorite SNES games!

Breath of Fire III
Console: Sony Playstation
Release Date: April 30, 1998
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Condition: Double mint!
Acquired From: The second donation to the BCVGB fund! (Only because it was on the bottom of the package.) Double thanks, bro!
Notes: When you can transform into a dragon, they'll make three video games about you, too.

Time Splitters
Console: Playstation 2
Release Date: October 23, 2000
Developer: Free Radical Design
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Condition: Good. No...great.
Acquired From: Local rental store's going out of business sale
Notes: The first in a series of excellent underrated shooters

Grand Theft Auto III
Console: Playstation 2
Release Date: October 22, 2001
Developer: DMA Design
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Condition: Missing manual. Stolen, no doubt.
Acquired From: Goodwill
Notes: Can you believe I didn't own this?

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Console: Playstation 2
Release Date: October 28, 2001
Developer: Neversoft
Publisher: Activision
Condition: Missing manual, brah.
Acquired From: Goodwill
Notes: Perhaps the best in the series, then Activision nailed  its tasty "sequel into the ground" 360 maneuver.

God of War
Console: Playstation 2
Release Date: March 22, 2005
Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Condition: Zeus's beard! They've made off with the manual!
Acquired From: Goodwill
Notes: Believe it or not, I've only ever played the HD remake. Not in a big hurry to try it in low-rez.