Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting Back in to the Sega Master System

On a recent trip to the retro game store, I acquired a Power Base Converter for the Genesis. Along with it, I got boxed copies of Aztec Adventure, Kung-Fu Kid, and Quartet. I had a blast playing these titles again, and it really gave me the urge to get back into collecting for the Master System. Sega's 8-bit console was the first one I seriously began to collect for, and I'd forgotten just how great the games were.

So over the past few weeks, I've been buying games little by little. I recently got Action Fighter and Time Soldiers from a great fellow over on the Digital Press boards. Action Fighter is a Spy Hunter clone, and a pretty good one at that. I love the Sega truck that powers up your weapons! Time Soldiers is a port of the arcade game, and while it's pretty faithful, it's just too hard.

In fact, that's what's starting to come back to me now - just how hard MS games are! I can remember my frustration at many of them, some of which I conquered and some that I didn't, but damn if I didn't try. Maybe now I'll actually be able to find all 5 scrolls in The Ninja and reach the princess or get to the end of Miracle Warriors.

eBay has been good to me for finding games, as has the Sega-16 forum. A recent trade has netted me a set of (boxed!) 3D glasses with Space Harrier 3D, Maze Hunter 3D, and Missile Defense 3D - all complete with boxes and manuals. I also just bought complete copies of Spellcaster and Black Belt, so my little collection is starting to come to life!

I'll try and post some impressions of these games as I get them, but if I don't come back soon, you'll know what I;ve been doing!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carzy Little Thing Called Life...

Wow, it's been a while, hasn't it? I normally don't take so long to post, but it's been an uphill battle keeping this blog alive. I originally intended it to be an outlet for my opinions on non-Genesis gaming (Sega-16 suffices for that), but the time needed to write the comprehensive posts I prefer just isn't there.

The best way then, is to post smaller thoughts, capsules of information that will simultaneously serve as my outlet and keep this poor little blog alive. This seems like as good an opportunity to start as any, so here goes...

Jeez, looking at my last post about Game Room makes me genuinely sad. How could Microsoft have failed at what was an awesome idea? Why would it let Game Room wither and die? After how callously it pulled the plug on 1 vs. 100, one would expect it to let Game Room die with a little more dignity, but I guess it was not meant to be. Lesson learned: stay FAR away from MS "events" on Xbox Live, lest ye be burned!

On a more positive note, I went to Neo Japan Games, a great retro shop on the far side of the island, and I came back with some choice items:


- Battletoads (loose)
- Cyborg Justice (complete)
- Garfield: Caught in the Act (cart and box)
- Heavy Nova (cart and box)
- Mazin' Saga: Mutant Fighter (cart and box)


- Kolibri (loose)


- X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse (loose)


- Croc (complete)
- Dark Legends (complete)
- Virtua Racing (complete)
- World Series Baseball (complete)

... and best of all, this bad boy:

I also picked up a few Genesis doubles, which I promptly gave away and kept the boxes (for refitting the collection). I got an extra Genesis Virtua Racing whose box fits my naked Game Genie cart perfectly. I printed out a custom insert and voila! Instant Game Genie clamshell!

The whole deal came out to about $137, which I paid for with some trade-in. Of everything I bought, I'm especially happy with the Arcade Racer. Now I can play Virtua Racing, Daytona, and Sega Rally in style!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Microsoft Game Room: Wasted Potential?

I admit it; I initially loved Game Room. I loved the concept (still do), the cute little arcade cabs, the medals and achievements, and the high score challenges. I've been into it since launch day, and I currently have around 27 games or so. I play it daily (just beat my Super Breakout score today. 201 points!), and I really, really wish more people were into it.

Why are people leaving? The problem lies not in the design or the concept. No, if you want to blame anyone for the tepid interest Game Room has generated over the few short months since it was launched, blame Microsoft itself. Slowly but surely, the company has done just about everything to ensure that as few people as possible care about what could otherwise be an awesome concept. Blame MS for the slow releases, including games with specialized controllers that are now nearly unplayable, the actual dearth of arcade games in each pack (the first batch of games from next week's Game Pack 8 contains only 4 2600 titles and one Intellivision game), the annoying pauses while playing, the lack of more game companies, the generic Konami cabs, etc. The list goes on and on, and while people are either forgetting they downloaded GR or are deleting it altogether, MS has been mostly silent. Even though the official Facebook page has finally been getting updates, and the website is now current, but the Xbox 360 dash never reports a thing, and Major Nelson probably doesn't even know Game Room exists.

I think I'm one of only a handful of people on the forums I frequent who actually use Game Room, and I fully understand the lack of interest. When MS boasted back in March that there would be a thousand games, people got excited. They imagined Capcom, Namco, Data East, and a slew of other arcade stalwarts offering up their best wares for 240 points. What'd we get? Atari 2600 and Intellivision games.

Here we are, more than three months later, and the rumors of other companies joining Game Room are still just that, rumors. I've heard that the release list only encompasses games from the Atari and Activision anthologies and Intellivision Lives!. Indeed, if you look at those lists, all the games currently offered or slated for release in GR are on them. They've seemingly run out of Atari arcade games (where is Food Fight?), and Konami has vanished from the list despite still having titles like Jackal, Circus Charlie, Gradius, and Devastators available. Given this week's list, pickings are slim, and nothing more has been announced.

That's what pisses me off the most. MS has dropped the ball completely with Game Room. There has been zero advertising, and it took them 4 months just to update the showcase arcade! I would love to be able to play Universal, Midway, Taito, and other company libraries here, and the damn thing was made for it! Head over to the Facebook page, and the complaints are all the same: where are the other companies? Why are there so few arcade games being released? The GR staff is again, mostly silent on these issues.

I would really love to pour my MS points into Game Room, but as it is, MS has done a really bad job with it. I'll continue to purchase the occasional arcade release that interests me, and I'll play those games I've already bought, but unless something major comes along, count me as one of those who is rapidly losing interest. Get with it MS; we're waiting.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Buying Used Sucks Sometimes

I try to take advantage of every preowned offer that comes my way, be it through Gamestop or any other store that's willing to shave a few bucks off its price. I mostly get good deals, and I won't buy a game unless it's complete and in good condition. The boxes might not be shiny new, but hey, you have to find ways to save money in this economy.

Sometimes, however, things don't work out. Yesterday, I found a used copy of Lego Indiana Jones 2 for the Xbox 360. It was only $15 after discount, so I picked it up. After three "unreadable disc" errors, I packed it back up for a return trip to the store. It was the only used copy they had, so I'll just pay the extra $5 and buy it new. Two trips to the store for a $20 game that's everywhere at that price. *Sigh*

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm on YouTube!

I finally got a decent digital camera, and I've been experimenting with posting videos on Youtube. The first one I did was a digital tour of my game room, and the second one was about my Saturn collection. I'm thinking of doing one last video on my Sega CD collection before calling it a night in terms of experimentation.

What I'd really like to do are short video reviews about specific Genesis games. Discussion about the box art and manual would be included, as well as gameplay footage. I just have to figure out how best to work the camera (Peter Jackson, I ain't).

Anyway, it's nice to be able to finally join the YouTube era, and at least this way I have another forum for sharing my love of Genesis games.