Welcome to Retro Game On!

Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Getting Technical

Whoa there! Three posts in three consecutive days? I think this is a first for Retro Game On! Better add a forum plus a busy community to go with it!
Anyways, you may remember in this post where I got my greasy mits on a Sega Game Gear. I bought it knowing that the speakers didn't work and the screen could only be viewed at a weird angle, the plan was to buy a TV adapter so I could play it on a television instead (thus pushing the problems out of the equation). Only one thing stood in the way of this plan... no such things exist.

I wasn't too happy having to live with a broken GG considering I've wanted one since I was about 10. I've since decided that I'm going to have a crack at fixing it. After many a Google search I've come up with, what I hope is, a solution.
If I'm right my GG is suffering from a fairly common problem among GG's, which isn't too hard to fix.
You see back in the 90's when these were produced, it is believed that Sega cut corners and fitted all GG's with shitty capacitors. They did the job at the time but 20 years down the track they're starting to fail.
The fact that the speaker does not work but the headphones do (headphones run off a different capacitor) and that the screen can only be viewed by turning it on a weird angle indicates regular symptoms of the capacitors dying. The fix is completely straight forward, remove the old caps and solder in new ones.
I'm doing this by following two different YouTube tutorials and my old man is teaching me how to solder since I've never done it before. It doesn't look that hard though.

I've already bought the supplies in which I need online for the job.
First off I bought this Gamebit tool. I need this so I can get the security screw off as it is unique, all the other screws are just your standard Phillip Head though. The pack I bought came with two different tools which cover a wide range of consoles and cartridges so the purchase is not a waste after this project. No doubt that I'll need to use them again in the future.
Second off was this 'Fix Kit' which I bought off Rewind-Bits.com.uk. Rewind Bits is an online shop for repairing retro game consoles. The kit in which I bought contains all the caps that you'll need for both audio and visual problems covering both versions of the GG. It also comes with a printed colour instruction manual just in case.

Watching those video tutorials the presenters stress that it might not be the problem, but it usually is. Its not the only thing that can go wrong with a GG. I understand this but I really want to try the fix anyway for the experience and also a project to keep me occupied. Plus I just really want to play my Game Gear.
If it fails, so what. I haven't lost much. A little bit of money and time is all.

I've only just ordered the necessary equipment so I don't expect it to get here for another few weeks. The Gamebit comes from America and the caps come from the UK, both of which are on the other side of the world from me.

More on this story as it continues.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Today's Lesson

Okay kiddies, lets get on with today's lesson.
Jesus, good thing I'm 6 months from retirement. Now before I WAS SO RUDELY INTERRUPTED I was going to teach you kiddies a lesson about Phantasy Star Online. Yes the one on Dreamcast, Gary, please stop looking at me.

"But the online Sega servers for PSO shut down years ago!"
Shut up, Gary, you three eyed freak. I know that. As you can see in this post I recently bought it for mere peanuts. The problem that I faced when trying to play this was that even though I wanted to play in offline mode it still wanted me to input a Serial Code and an Access Key before I could start playing. Unfortuantly for me the copy I bought no longer had the insert in it that had this information on it.
After some searching, the good hearted people of Racket Boy sent me in the direction of this site.
In that site you can find codes for PSO that work on various versions and in various regions. Now I can follow my dream of playing though this entire game instead of teaching you maggots. Class dismissed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Update 26/6/2011

You may or may not have noticed the new section of my blog to your right called "Retro Related Blogs" (below the Archive).
I decided to add these after mine was added to an awesome blog called "Gaming Through The Ages." Apparently his blog had an influx in views which led to a few more than usual on mine. I wanted to return the favor as well and add more retro gaming blogs that I regularly read. Please check them out as they fit my description of awesomness, I've even made it so they're in order of most recent post. This way I feel you don't have to worry about clicking on a blog that hasn't been updated in months.
If you look closely you may even see a blog that has absolutely nothing to do with retro gaming but is in fact another one I run. This is just a rumor though, don't believe everything you hear.

You also may or may not notice what this new addition replaces. There use to be ads there, yes, the devil.
I decided to get rid of them for two reasons. One, they were generating next to nothing revenue. And two, I felt bad having them there when this blog costs me absolutely nothing to run and they just take up room where something more useful could be (ala this new addition). Over that they're butt ugly as well.

So yeah, that's that. Enjoy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Welcome to the $1000 game price club... we have jackets.

According to a Price Charting.com article the hard to find Virtual Boy game, Virtual Bowling is close to being in the prestigious $1000 game price club as a recent Ebay auction has listed it at $940.

Apparently the bust of Duke Nukem isn't included :(
The bidder insists that he's just selling this because he doesn't play it any more and it isn't for financial reasons. He also claims that if it doesn't sell he won't re-list, as of writing though it has 10 bids with just over five days to go. If you want it, I suggest you bring out the hard dollars in the very near future.

Just like every other Virtual Boy game, this one burned out your retinas with harsh red 3D visuals.
This particular game is rare because it was only released in Japan near the end of the Virtual Boys life. Its suppose to be fairly good though, this review gave it 8 out of 10.
I would review it myself but I'm unfortunate enough to not own a VB and even more unfortunate enough to not have $1000 spare either. Ah well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Five Dreamcast games for 8 Euros? Hellllll yeahhhhhhh!

I really don't want to turn this blog into the kind where every single post is about what I've bought or received, it makes me feel like I'm gloating over nothing much and its making me look like a snob. I do realise though that this is the third post in a row like that. Please understand its because I'm currenlty on the move alot because of a family holiday, I can't really post about much else.
Just wanted to get that out of the way, now I can sleep easy tonight without worrying what random people on the internet are thinking about me.

Anyway, onto what I picked up today:

As the title so subtly hints, I got five Dreamcast game for 8 Euros.
Its weird were I found them too. I can't exactly remember the name of the town, but its near were Leonardo De Vinci died (a hint!). Throughout the whole of France I haven't seen one used game store, not one. Walking down the cobbled high street I came across two, pretty much across the road from each other. 
I bought all these games at one, the other place was rip. The Dreamcast games were between 10 and 15 Euros there. As you can see in the picture the highest price I paid for a game was 3.

The guy in there was funny. He didn't speak any English and all the games were in a locked glass cabinet. I pointed to the games and said in English "I want to buy them" hoping I would get the message across. He just looked at me blankly and then shook his head. I then took out some money and pointed at that and then the games, but he just shook his head again. After some more failed attempts of pointing I used my Dad's translating device to figure out what 'purchase' was. He understood after that and sold them, though seemingly reluctantly as if he didn't want to. Its his fault for making them so cheap I guess, literally cheaper than chips.

They were as follows:
Phantasy Star Online- complete (2 Euros)
Chu Chu Rocket- complete (3 Euros)
Shadow Man- complete (1 Euro)
Blue Stinger- missing manual (1 Euro)
Tomb Raider: The Lost Revelation- has manual but not in original case (1 Euro)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fear & Loathing In Neuvic

Neuvic is actually a really nice French town, I’ve just always wanted to use that saying in a blog post title. I was staying in a village near there and went to a swap meet there last Sunday.
I probably got the best haul there yet for me. 

Shoe box full of games good! This will add some weight to my suitcase.
First off, and in my opinion best of, was this Sega Game Gear bundle.

It came with the Game Gear its self, 7 games, a wall recharger and also a battery pack which you can recharge and then clip on your belt to play on the move (as if I could fit the Game Gear in my pocket anyway).
All the games came in protective plastic cases and all the instruction manuals are there except for Super Space Invaders. Lets face it though, Space Invaders doesn’t need instructions.
All this for 15 Euros as well.
The games worked perfectly after a bit of old school dust blowing but the screen on the GG is showing its age. First off you can only play from an angle if you want to see the screen clearly. I knew this from the start though as they guy I bought it off was kind enough to let me plug it in and test it before I bought it (he said he hadn’t played it himself since he was a kid). Figuring it was a bargain without the GG I bought it on the spot, even after the conversion its still only about $20 Australian.
Unfortunately the problem with the screen gets worse after about 10 minutes of playing, it turns into a snow storm of disappointment. The games run fine though and they’re extremely fun (besides from that Mcdonald’s game though, that’s just one long advertisement).
When I get home I’m going to track down a cable so I can play it on a TV, the games are just too fun to let them go unplayed. [EDIT] Whoops, turns out there isn't such a thing as that. Looks like I'll either have to buy another one or attempt to fix this one. That could be interesting.

Next up was the Game Boy game F1 Race. I don’t even know if this is any good, I just want to play some other racing game on my GBC other than Le Mans 24 Hour.
F1 Race was a ball busting 1 Euro.

Also for 1 Euro each was the notoriously bad Hugo and the hopefully better Metal of Honour: Resistance for PSone. Considering that its Platinum gives me hope.
Don’t ask me why I bought Hugo, I guess I just want to write a review where I can endlessly whine.

Last but not least is Assassin’s Creed 2 for 10 Euro’s (in as new condition as well!)
I have the first one and Brotherhood but I borrowed number 2 off a friend when I played it originally. It’s a great game which I’ll probably play again. Also it’s a collectors urge to seal a series I guess.

So all in all a good morning, such a good haul pushes me to want to go to more swap meets when I’m back in the Motherland.
One good thing about the French is that they like to sleep in a little. I turned up to this particular swap meet at about 8.30 and some stalls were still setting up, at that time there also wasn’t that many people roaming about. By about 11 when I left the place was crowded with bargain hunters, good thing I turned up early to their standards. Early at a swap meet in Aus means 7am D:

Other gems I saw but couldn’t buy included a boxed Sega Mega Drive. The MD has been on my to buy list for years and I’m sure it was quite cheap. No point in bothering about it though, I probably wouldn’t be able to fit it in my suitcase. My heart nearly broke when I saw some other happy chappy walking off with it, but we must all move on.
Everything else retro wise was pretty samey, a PS2 or a Gamecube every now and again. Saw some Saturn games at one point but no console, good thing that really because my heart can only break so much.
Another thing I think I should mention that isn’t game related that I saw was a World War 2 German field phone. Now I’m by no means a Nazi supporter but I think that would be an awesome thing to own. You would never see anything like that in Aus and if you did it would sell as quick as [insert shitty crude joke here].

Anyway that’s all for now folks. If I see anything else I’ll keep you informed but if not I’ll start posting regularly again when I get home. Then I can finally play and review some of these games!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Retro Game On: Le French Edition

Sorry about the absence of posts this last month or so, I've been on a Family holiday abroad. Travelling around kind of makes it hard to play and review game you see. I only have a DS with a Pokemon game with me plus a Laptop, my retro related focus right now is on finding European bargains. It wasn't going so well until today though.
I'm currently in France, beforehand I was in Bali which was usuless for that kind of thing. From there we wen't to Paris for a few nights so I didn't get the chance to see a retro store I was planning on visiting, right now I'm in the French country side.
This morning I went to some Saturday markets in a town called Saint-Lo. We arrived kinda late (11am late) so I didn't have much hope in finding anything. But among all the markets trying to sell you fake Ray Bans I found a little stall that was selling second hand PS2, PS3, Wii and DS games. Among the millions of sports games I picked up Crazy Taxi for the PS2 for 5 Euros.

I do have it on Dreamcast, but that copy has come down with a bad case of not working

A very sun bleached picture of the stand

The guy that ran the stand was nice, although I couldn't understand him and he couldn't understand me. I think we had an in depth conversation about Assassin's Creed though, I'm not entirely sure.
I couldn't find any other stands with games but I happened to come across Wipeout Pulse for the PS2 for 5 Euro's as well while in a supermarket buying beer. Its brand new, shrink rapped so for 5 bucks I certianly can't complain.

Like Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction said, its the little things in Europe. In Australia you can't go into a supermarket and buy either booze or video games, so to me that's very cool. 
I'll be travelling around the French country side a bit more for a few more weeks so hopefully I can find some markets full of retro gaming goodlyness. After that I'm going to Dubai, not too hopeful for there but lots of cheap DVD's apparently :D