Welcome to Retro Game On!

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hardware Review: Futuretronics 4MB Memory Card for PlayStation One

Memory cards are an essential, although annoying part of playing a PS1. Back in the day you always had the problem of running out of space on your merer 1MB Sony memory cards. It simply wasn't enough, I always had to delete old saves in order to make way for saves of new games. 
We all know that only un-manly men deleted game saves, so what were we do to? Buy a new one? Play an actual sport? Ew! Screw that!
No, we used our noggins and bought a 4MB memory card! It's four memory cards in one! Brilliant!

PlayStation not included.
I'm not really a fan of buying after market accessories but to my knowledge, no official Sony ones were ever made. This one still seems to work though, so bravo Futuretronics!
Futurtronics was and still is an Australian after market accessory company. They seemed to do the right thing with this but it should be noted that I have another memory card made by them that no longer works and a controller that has a broken up button. Ah well, at least they got this right. I dunno what I would have done otherwise. 

The design is sleek. There are four LED's, each represent 1MB of the card. You choose between them by holding down Select and either L1 or R2 to scroll. A weird combination, but its one that doesn't really effect any game controls I guess.
All in all, a great piece of hardware. A mostly essential one as well!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do You Like NES Games?

Well if you do, check out this auction. It's perfect for you. At only $75,000 you could own every single NTSC NES game in box, complete.
The good news is that that calculates into only $69,079.86 Australian. Gotta love that exchange rate.

As well as the NTSC games it also comes with a sizable PAL collection as well as a whole lot of other shit including two NES's themselves and around 50 controllers! I think its fair to say that someone wants to retire.
The action is Buy It Now so if you have the spare money I suggest you either invest in this or at least give it to  charity, you rich bastard.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Eighties Sound

My camera seemed to have trouble focusing on everything. Maybe because its all just so darn awesome.
A new addition to my retro collection. Not gaming, but close.
I've recently dragged some old AWA speakers and an attached amp out of my garage. They use to be part of a bigger kit that included a tape deck and a record player. There was also an old Sony CD player part of it at one stage. Unfortunately though, one by one, all those things broke. Out of the whole collection the only thing that survives is the speakers and the amp/radio combo.
My Dad bought this back in the 80's but it's been sitting in the shed for a few years. I wasn't even sure if it worked anymore, but I brought the three piece in bit by bit while dodging the rain. After moving that beast of a CRT (seriously, I nearly broke my back) and the stand I now have a fully fledged stereo entertainment system for my retro gaming needs.

LED's and the whole shebang. 
Those speakers are mostly made out of wood you see, the acoustics are brilliant.
I play tested it today with Crazy Taxi and it certainly was an experience. Having The Offspring glare out of those 3 foot tall speakers was simply awesome. So much better than the stock tv speakers, I can never go back.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Practice Makes Perfect

An update on the whole Sega Game Gear situation
The other day I went to work and re-soldered all the capacitors. I've never done any type of soldering before besides from the night before when I used the iron for the first time. I guess the chances for success weren't in my favour in the first place as, well, to be blunt I f*cked it up. It's jumped from one capacitor problem to another. Now it turns off as soon as it's turned on. 
Posting some pictures to a Racket Boy thread and the general consensus I got was I used too much solder and didn't clean off the gunk from the previous blown capacitors. Now that I know what I've done wrong I plan on fixing it. I'm going to get rid of my soldering job, clean were I need to and then re-solder using smaller solder (the bunch I used was quite thick).

I bought a 'Solder Sucker' off eBay for...

One dollar!!!

Plus $1 postage. 

Now all I need to do is find some smaller in diameter solder and I'm good to go. 
I honestly didn't expect this project to go flawlessly the first time anyway. It is my first fix after all, I'm sure plenty of people failed their first try. The most important thing in my opinion, is that I keep trying. In the end it may or may not work but I won't be satisfied until I least know I tried. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another One To Add To The Collection...

Yes, I know. I already have a PlayStation. It does work, but it's kind of resting in peace(s).
My quest for this PS1 started about a week ago. It started off in a thrift shop that won't be named. Needless to say I've bought plenty of stuff there before (a lot of retro stuff mind you) and it's all been fine. I bought a PS1 in which they told me was in perfect working order. Needless to say I brought it home and it wouldn't display properly on a TV. A couple of video cables and three TV's later I decided it was a dud. Usually I would have a crack at fixing it like this Sega Game Gear but since it came with a 40 day warranty I decided to just return it.
They didn't have another one but luckily another thrift shop next door did, which works! :D After eight years or so I can finally play my PS1 collection on a fine working console.

Also talking of Game Gears, restoration work has began. Here's a teaser picture...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Retro Scan: Duke Nukem Forever (PC)

Hey, isn't that the game that just came out that got poor reviews?
Why yes it is! The only problem is, I scanned this out of a Hyper magazine dating back to November, 2001.
Duke Nukem was still being developed that far back and even earlier still but it didn't get released until just recently. I think the problem is that twelve years is way too long to build up hype for a game. No wonder so many people were disappointed with it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Blog Update 12/7/2011

Two Blog Updates in a row. Whoops, sorry.
I promise there will be some actual retro content soon its just I did say I would make this page so I decided I would get it out of the way.
The button for it is pretty much in an upward direction from where you are looking now, its labelled 'Games.'
On this page you'll find a list of my embarrassingly small games collection. I plan on keeping it up to date so if you care and are awesome, check it out :D

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blog Update 8/7/2011

Retro Game On has a new page!
Clickity clack that new button to your top rightish labelled 'Systems.' In that page you will find an inventory of sorts of all my gaming systems that I own. Its kind of embarrassingly small now, but I'll update it every time it needs to be.
I'll also be doing a different page which will be listing all the games I own on every system. That will take me a while but stay tuned as it will be up soon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hardware Review: Handy Power by Joyplus For Sega Game Gear

I bought this hunk of crap along with all that other Game Gear stuff I scored back in June.
A glamour shot for the lulz
Keep in mind though, when I say its a hunk of crap I mean its a hunk of crap now. Fifteen years ago it might of been totally great, awesome and spectacular. I would never know though so I'm going to be an ignorant fool and be harsh about it.

The premises for this device is actually quite a good one. Anyone in the know about Game Gears knows that it chews through batteries like a Biggest Loser contestant who just jumped the fence and found the nearest Macca's.
The idea is that you charge it up by plugging it into a Game Gear wall charger and then once it's charged up you clip it on your belt and go along your merry way. Quite a good idea since there really is no alternative to playing a GG on the go unless you invest a fortune in batteries, or get separate rechargeable batteries.

My problem is that since its so old that the case is yellowing, the inbuilt rechargeable batteries are next to useless now. You can't charge it for more than twenty minutes without it getting red hot and possibly catching on fire or exploding. I want neither of those things to happen so I think I will just let it be.
Since I don't use it I shouldn't be fazed but they're is yet another problem. The cable that attaches it to the GG is shoddy as, move it a mill in a direction it doesn't want to go in and it cuts the power and resets the GG.
What a pain in the arse, I hate it.
Luckily the GG isn't the most mobile game machine ever so I don't think this problem will bother me too much. I just have to fix the damn Game Gear now.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Retro Scan: Medievil (PSone)

Every retro gaming blog plus their Mums seem to be doing posts showing old retro scans. Considering I have box loads of old gaming magazines, I thought I would join the herd and start doing it as well.  All I want to do is be cool ya know.

First off we have a scan for the excellent PlayStation game, Medievil. It includes an action hero with a difference... He's dead.
I scanned this out of a PlayStation Pro dated from the 26th of Novmember, 1998. Click on the image for a larger resolution.

"Its worse than that, he's dead Jim, dead Jim, dead Jim!"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review: F1 Race for Game Boy

For? Nintendo Game Boy  Who? Nintendo  Year? 1990

I’ve never actually owned an original Game Boy, never needed to. That’s one good aspect of Nintendo being the huge cash cow that they are. Up until when I recently bought a Game Boy Advance SP I only owned a Game Boy Color and a DS. These together meant I could play every single hand held Nintendo game to come out up until the recently released 3DS.
The only reason I bought an SP was so I could play my GB and GBC games with a front lit screen and a rechargeable battery. All the other Game Boys are useless in my opinion unless you’re a hardcore GB collector.
A good thing about the front lit screen is now I can actually take screen shots in the dark and I don’t have to worry about light reflection. Next step will be to buy either a SNES or a Gamecube so I can get the adapters in which let you play the games on the telly so I can capture them perfectly with a DVD Recorder.
What I’m trying to say though is don’t complain about the screen captures as they could be a lot worse. I’m just a small time Blogspot blogger ;)

F1 Race, to put bluntly, is a fun arcade racing game but is ball bustlingly hard.
I’ve never played such a hard racer. It doesn’t muck around with even starting off easy, it just chucks you right into the action.

You have the choice of three modes; Grand Prix, Time Trails and Multi-Play.
Grand Prix is pretty much the career mode. You’re tasked with coming first place in every single race in different locations around the world. You start off in tenth place and have to make it to first by the end, the first eight cars are pretty much just obstacles with the first car being what makes it so challenging. Its usually half way around the track in front of you and all the other cars. How it even gets there in the first place is beyond me but it seems a little unfair, all the other cars are bunched together at the start so its seems a bit unbalanced in that regard.
The other cars are also track hogs and take up all the space which makes them close to impossible to overtake while going around a bend. You do have an interesting boost function though which I would recommend you use whenever you’re on a straight part. I’ve never heard of Nitrogen Boosters in F1 racing but it makes it that little bit easier, so I’m not complaining.
The Time Trails are a bit easier on the rage meter, you have the choice of either doing them with or without ‘obstacles’ (ie other cars) and you can choose whatever track you want from the start.
I haven’t had a chance to try out the Multi-Play mode as I don’t know anyone one with the game. It did originally come with a four player adapter though which is pretty neat. The game would be a great multiplayer game as the tracks are carefully planned and the car handling is fairly flawless, its only the AI which brings this game down.

The graphics are quite well done. All the different tracks are in different places around the world and the backgrounds have been made specially for each track, there are no generic background illustrations of hills in this game. For example in Russia they have those, uh, Russian looking buildings (sorry about the ignorance Russian readers!) and in India they have the Taj Mahal. There is quite a lot of detail crammed in.
Those 'Russian' looking buildings
I experienced no kind of lag either so it just goes to show how lazy some of the artists must of been back in the day, it can’t have anything to do with the capabilities of the Game Boy.

The music is quite enjoyable as well but the sound department gets let down by the sound effects as they’re loud, repetitive and annoying. I actually ended up completely turning the sound off as it just distracted me and put me off the game a little.

All in all F1 Race is a great game. Good graphics, great music and fun handling makes this game a must buy if you have a Game Boy.
The only thing that brings this game down is of how unforgiving it is, this ruins it unless you’re totally a hardcore gamer. This isn’t a game in which you can just pick up and play, considering its just a racing game though I think you should be able to do that. That’s just my humble opinion though.