Welcome to Retro Game On!

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

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Merry Christmas (To Me)

I know Christmas is now a TV advertisement of last week, but for the first time in a while I picked up some gaming goodies a few days before Christmas. Since I so selfishly bought them for myself when it was the time of giving, I'm just going to go ahead and claim them as Christmas presents for myself. There; I'm an asshole.
Anyway, like I said before it has been a while since I really hunted around for some bargains like I use to constantly. It suddenly occurred to me that I'm still really into retro games and how the thrill of the hunt pays off when you find something at a great price. This happened to me twice on that 35+ degree day. The items weren't exactly rare, but the condition of them for the prices they were would of been worthy of a dance on the street if it wasn't so damn hot.

First on the theoretical chopping block, is Donkey Kong Land. This cost me $5. Five dorras.
Look at the condition of this beast! Most of the cartridges you buy individually are stained, faded and the labels are usually peeling. Luckily this one came in a clear plastic case. Not as good as getting it complete in an original box, but probably second best because at least the cartridge is well preserved. I swear I was the only one in my generation who kept the original boxes and instructions.

Uka Uka, this is not a fair contest.
Next up, Crash Bash! This beautifully carved wonder of a game also cost me $5.
This, like DK Land also came in great condition. The disk has no scratches, the case is intact and it also has the instruction manual (which has a Spyro: Year of the Dragon advert on the back... awesome!). Over that it's an original release. Not a dull, grey platinum case like many of my PSone games... sadly.
I've only ever had the demo, which I've always played with friends as this is an excellent party game. Now it will be great to be able to play more then the several levels which the demo restricts you to.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Blog update 9/12/2012

Over the last couple of days I have been redesigning the blog graphically. There hasn't been any changes since April, 2011; when I actually launched the blog. Blue and white seemed like an okay combo for a little while but it's been getting on my nerves lately and I've had complaints that it can effect readability after a while.
Not being one to disgruntle my precious audience, I've decided to make the overall look a bit more modern and the colour scheme a bit more reader friendly. I would never of course pass up the chance to put in some Atari 2600 era wood grain either. Wood grain is fantastic.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Video: Gradius 3 Quicky Review

Sorry I've been dead to the world as far as this blog is concerned, I thought I would make up for it with a video.
This is a new format of video reviewing that I'm trialling where I scripted, recorded and edited everything within one afternoon. More of a first impressions video than anything, please feel free to share your thoughts on the video. Watch in HD too for best results.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jet Set Radio Hoody

Maybe I have no life, or maybe I have TOO much of a life, but either way I have just become into possession of a Jet Set Radio hoody. That is cool, you might smirk. But be informed; only 299 other hoodies  exist like this one.
People by now might be thinking I'm some sort of JSR collecting weird'o, but I achieved to obtain this by sheer luck (and I'm not a cent poorer because of it). So how much did it cost? Nilch. For those of you who aren't into weird, obscure Australian words like I am, that means absolutely zero. I won the hoody in a competition on IGN. It was one where they asked a question and the best 10 answers won. The question was; "what city you'd like to see Jet Set Radio take place in?" Out of 1820 answers, I managed to win. A lot of the answers seemed to be the same cities (ie New York or Japan) so it was just a case of picking something that wasn't already mentioned. I went with Doha, as it's probably the strangest, yet coolest looking city I've ever seen. If you don't know what the skyline looks like, here is a terrible picture I took of it last year from the airport while in a layover:

Sorry about the quality, but in my defence I was quite jet lagged :P 
 Now THAT would be an awesome city to skate around, stick it to the man and listen to some early 2000's dance/techno music in. Certainly a lot better than putting Perth as my answer.

Also side note; pictures are up from my Trip 35 on my other blog.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Blog Update 12/7/2012

I did do this a few days ago, but I've now implemented the Labels system fully. I've tried to do this in the past but usually given up. It was a tedious job, but now all 80 posts on this blog (this is the 80th actually) have labels!
Check to you right, below the blog archive section. There you will see all the posts organised by categories, where you can do searches by console, make and whatever else. For example this post is labelled 'Update.' Clicking that word either at the end of this post, or in the labels section will display all the blog updates I've ever done (exciting reading, I know).
That's all the updates for now though, all though I'll probably be replacing the header soon; it shits me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Retro Unrelated: Olympus Trip 35

Welcome to a new category of posts I'm starting today called Retro Unrelated. In these we're still keeping with the general theme of retro, but instead taking quick breaks from gaming and looking at other goodlyness in retroness (yes, I did just write that).
Today, we look at the all mighty Olympus Trip 35:

First released in 1967 as the ultimate holiday camera, it enjoyed quite a healthy run until 1984, ten million units later. It had many appeals as a camera to take on a trip. For example, it didn't run off any batteries. This is a mix of the fact that it has no internal flash, and that the metering system is powered by solar cells surrounding the lens.
Another plus is how tough it is. This isn't an official feature or anything, so I wouldn't go flinging it at walls for the joy of it. I know this because of various stories around the web and the fact that my Dad once left this on top of his car as he drove off. It fell of course, but it shrugged it off like the champ it is.

This camera has a huge cult following most probably to do with the amazing four-element Tessar lens it carries. There are blogs and Flickr groups all over the net devoted to it, containing many people who collect and actively use them because of the awesome photos they produce.
I found mine in my cupboard. Well, the box anyway. This was a big enough tease as it was since the camera was nowhere to be seen, but my Dad eventually found it buried in his draw. He had purchased it in the early 80's from a duty free shop on the way to Kuala Lumpur. The receipt is still in the box and he paid $59.90 Australian for it, as well as buying duty free booze and smokes (because that's what people did in the early 80's).

While not offering fully in-depth manual settings, it does give you a fair amount of control for the price at the time. It has a range of aperture settings, from f2.8 to f22. It also has an automatic setting just in case you don't know what all that means. From there you could determine how far away the subjects were either in feet or meters, and what the ISO was (or ASA).
Since the camera has no inbuilt flash, there is a hotshoe for an add-on and a Prontor-Compur. The box I found for this also included an even smaller box inside for a Sunpak SP140 flash. Unlike the camera though, the actual unit is still at large.

I haven't had a chance to test it out yet as I'm still awaiting on some film to arrive. The film wasn't hard to find though since it of course runs on 35mm. In the future if all goes well with the camera I'll endeavour to find were I can buy it locally instead of online.

It's only once I've used up all the film and gotten it developed I can truly find out if it's working or not.
From what I cant tell without taking photos, it seems in tip top shape except for one small thing. When the camera perceives that there isn't enough light, a red indicator is suppose to pop up warning you that it is too dark. When I cover up the lens with my hand and press down the shutter, this indicator doesn't show. It seems to be a common problem with the actual indicator being stuck to the insides once the internal grease becomes sticky. This however, is also suppose to effect the lens opening and shutting correctly. If that is the problem the lens opening and shutting would be shoddy and non fluent, but this does not seem the case for me. It opens and shuts quite quickly like it should.
This may mean I would only be able to use the manual aperture settings, but that really isn't a problem for me. I'm willing to do that. If I don't have to open it up and clean and replace the grease, I won't. There are a lot of delicate and small objects inside (for example ball bearings) which I just don't want my fat fingers touching if I don't have to.

Stay tuned to my other blog as I'll probably post the pictures from this camera there when they do eventually get taken and processed. I'll also leave a quick note on this one, as who knows when that could be.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Video: Famicom Game Unboxing!

Been a while since I've created a video, so I decided to make one on that Famicom Japanese Economics game. It's an unboxing video really, I don't understand them so I mock them.

PS: Watch in HD :D

Friday, June 15, 2012

Max Payne Released For Android

Today there was happiness, laughter and dancing in the street as Max Payne was released for Android. Being the Rockstar fanboy I am (just check the games section of this blog to see my GTA collection) I pounced right on this since it actually works on my phone. Plus it being only $3 didn't hurt my wallet in the slightest for a classic such as this.

Hopefully they release the sequel soon as I doubt it will take me very long to beat it. 
I adore the shit out of this game; I literally fan gasm'd when I read it had been released. As I said it even works on my phone, being that it only runs on a single core I find it quite impressive really.
There isn't too much lag (compared to GTA 3 for Android anyway) and the touch controls are actually quite solid. Having said that though you can connect an external controller if you have fat fingers, but I feel this kind of spoils the portable idea. You mind as well just play it on PS2.

Either way I'm quite impressed by this port and feel that Rockstar need to give themselves a pat on their back. You can't go wrong for $3, especially when it's a game of this magnitude.

[Max Payne for Android]

Monday, June 11, 2012

Something Kinda Sorta Related

Since I won't shut up about my new camera on my other blog, I thought I mind as well carry on the mindless dribble to this one.
I've spent a bit too much time over at The Photo Extremest (sometimes instead of eating) and I'm trying my hand at certain photographic techniques. For instance this one involves retro goodlyness, so I thought I mind as well post it here:

We were all too lazy to clean the room up a bit more.
As you can see I'm winning and being a jerk about it. Me's thinks I'm an asshole.
I wonder what I'm playing? Probably THPS2, I kick ass at that on N64 and I will beat you... and then proceed to be a dick about it.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Operation 'Console Shelf' Has Been Delayed...

Why you ask? Because of this bastard:

Everytime I'm free, and actually want to work on this thing, it's always pissing down. Always.
Take for instance today. I'm home, and don't have really anything else to do and that's what the sky currently looks like. There is a puddle the size of Tasmania in my driveway, and everything else is wet. It wasn't raining when I took that picture of course, but as soon as I set everything up, I bet it will. Weather hates me, and I hate it. Usually I love the rain, but then again I'm not really an outside person and I wouldn't usually give two shits about what's happening out in the wilderness. When I actually do want to go outside and do stuff, it messes with me. It's like an immature child.
Over that everytime I look outside I see this, looking sad and neglected:

Here is a check-list of what I've done and what is yet to be done (with comical ticks and crosses!):

✔Initial planning
✔Designing woodwork sheets
✔Purchasing materials
✔Marking wood
✔Cutting wood
✘ Sanding the wood
✘ Assembling the wood
✘ Applying varnish

One other thing that was stopping me from the next step was a working sander. I now have one, and that is currently also looking sad and neglected on the table next to the cut wood. What an overall sad sight.
I will get this done soon, I promise. But right now Mother Nature is being cruel. Once she sorts her self out, operation 'Console Shelf' can be a go once again. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is Collecting Sealed Games A Real Hobby?

Jet Set Radioooooooooooooo!
Greetings. This post was suppose to be posted about half a month ago, but assignments seemed to to keep coming in and I kept on buying cheap, shit games. So in-between playing cheap, shit games (DNF isn't that bad to be honest) and doing assignments, I forgot to write this post. Over that the object you see in the above picture took about three weeks more than it should have to arrive, further postponing it. When it did finally come I was too busy screaming at my TV because of how crap Homefront was, but how it had an awesome story and I didn't want to stop because of it.  
It's kind of hard to see in the above picture because of the flash, but that copy of Jet Set Radio is still factory sealed. Going on Ebay while slightly intoxicated is never a good idea (repeat with me, never) and next thing I knew I had spent roughly $10AUS on this. Good deal really, so I don't feel too bad. That's just roughly two Red Bulls I've missed out on.
Sealed Dreamcast games are quite common because the console (in terms of console life spans) isn't really that old. I think because of how quickly Sega pulled the plug on it, lots of games were probably forgotten about. It seems to be quite common when a box of still sealed games is found in a warehouse somewhere, and that was probably the case for this copy. The sales page said more than 10 were available, so I guess the seller got them in bulk.
A lot of people will probably be like; "Hell yeah sealed Dreamcast game, it's just like Christmas 1999 again" and then they would proceed to play their favourite Smashmouth album while taking the seal off. But I can't seem to get myself to open it. I love the game and I've played it, but for some reason I rather keep it sealed because of some sort of weird collectors desire.
Games are meant to be played, not imprisoned in clear plastic. Everytime I see images of whole collections that are completely sealed, I feel dirty. More so when the people just keep it so they can sell it later for a profit. I guess I would never sell this (like anyone would buy it anyway) but I feel I should keep it sealed. This is the only sealed game I own, everything else is open and fully playable. Would it be okay to just keep this sealed? And make sure I don't have a whole collection full of sealed games that's only good to look at and brag about on the internet?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Retro Scan: Fossilised Target Gaming Advert

$80 for a PS2 game? A Dragon Ball Z game!? I'm glad these dark days are behind us. 
I found this Target snippet from 2002 while cleaning out my cupboard. Yes, it's been that long since I properly cleaned out my cupboard. It was in a box for the steering wheel you can see at the bottom for $29.95 which is compatible with PS1/2 games. For the record the wheel is absolutely terrible and I have used it about twice since I bought it. I have no idea why I kept the magazine that advertised it, but then again I did the same thing when I bought my PSone. I guess that it was just something I did when I was a kid.  

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Operation 'Console Shelf' is a Go

Two posts ago I detailed the plan to construct a shelf type thing for my consoles. Since then I've made up a proper plan (coming to the conclusion that 7cm between shelves is ridiculous), brought the necessary supplies and started building. I was 1cm off at how long I wanted my wood to be, and found some that were nearly 2cm thick and even better at 24cm wide. From there I made this plan:

Probably should have used grid paper. 
I also changed the placement of the middle beams so the weight would be more equally distributed. Also 20cm in-between shelves is a lot more realistic than 7cm.
The building so far is still in it's infant stages, but so far I've marked the wood up and cut out the beams. I have three more cuts to go, which I should get done tomorrow. Hopefully me posting that here won't jinx me and I'll actually get it done.

Some pictures:

Feels weird posting a picture of outside on a gaming blog. I guess this is proof that it does indeed exist. 

All my manly tools. 
After I've cut all the wood I need to sand down the pieces so they're to size to the mil. From there I will drill the holes, actually assemble it and then apply the varnish. After that it will be done, and I'll have to find something else to blog about.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oh Yeah, My Famicoms Work

The game to Famicom ratio is now 1:1
Several months ago I talked over a few posts about two Famicoms and one Super Famicom which I scored for free. While I did elaborate later about the SF, I never really did post further about the two other Famicoms. I'm not really sure why I didn't, it just got forgotten like the band Hanson. Seriously, they sucked.
In the last post which was focused on a Famicom, I posted about how the LED's lit up on the joystick pad and how this looked assuring until my test game arrived. I never posted after that, but my test game did arrive. The game was suppose to be something fun and cheap, but in the end I purchased Matsumoto Tooru no Kabushiki Hisshougaku. The English text on the box simply says 'Family Computer Business Economics Software, Volume 1.' It's about as exciting as it sounds, cost me $3.83 Australian, complete it box and totally in Japanese. While the game is er, well, about economics, it still has all the original pamphlets in it and could make an interesting video.
Either way, it was bought as a test game and I've used it to that purpose. It proved that my better condition Famicom worked, and that the other one did too after some persuasion. I opened that up to find it full of sawdust. While I'm still trying to think of a scenario where a fully sealed Famicom becomes full of sawdust, after I pulled it all out it now worked as well.
Tuning it to an Australian television has been fairly hard though. While I do have a mostly clear picture (with some static saying hello every now and again) I still haven't mastered the sound. I can hear it slightly, but this is over rid by roaring white noise. Sound isn't really that much of a problem and not totally necessary in 80's games, but it would be nice to hear those 8-bit tunes more clearly.
The other day I received Tetris in the mail after I decided I wanted to play some games on the system which I actually enjoyed. As you can imagine, a totally Japanese economics game gets boring after a while. In fact, I think I got bored of it after about 30 seconds. The Tetris is game is great, but has some small issues like the fact you change the angle of the shapes by pressing down. The amount of times I've pressed it by accident so far has been a little bit annoying, but all well. I'm not even interested in English economics.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Console Storage: A Visualization

A while back I blogged the greater plan for my games room. Right at the bottom of that post I mention that I wanted some kind of permanent storage for the consoles because I didn't like them being on the floor, as this makes them vulnerable.
Today I finally got my shiz together and decided to mock up something in 3DS Max:

I've added low poly, but to scale PlayStation 1's so you can get a sense of how big it will be. 
Believe it or not, I did actually do some measuring around the area where I want it and translated that data into what you see above. It will be positioned right in front of the TV and sound system, and hopefully will be just like that if I can find comparable wood. You can't actually just go to the Bunnings website and look at wood sizes, so I actually have to go into a store, look at the wood, and design it properly from there. In the above design I've made all the wood 2cm thick, the whole thing 4 feet long (122cm) and there are 7cm gaps between shelves. I made it 7cm because it seems to be the perfectly sized space for putting in carts and disks, while not making the shelf too high. I still need to be able to easily access the sound system controls under the TV.
It's hard to tell in the above render, but I've designed all the separate objects to be the actual sized bits of wood which I have to cut up. I plan to join it all up with screws in the right places, as well as wood glue. This is how I did it when I built stuff in high school, and it always made the object quite sturdy. I will also probably put felt on the bottom so I can easily slide it if need be.
I'm very excited that I'm finally getting somewhere with this. Soon I'll go into a hardware store, measure up the wood properly and make up a proper plan. I'll blog another post about this when I have that all worked out.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Obligatory 'Sorry For No Posts' Post

What's that sound I hear? Oh, it's the sound of nothing. It appears I haven't posted anything to this corner of the internet for about a month. Sorry about that. The usual culprits are to blame; education, work, life in general etc. I wish I had the time for this right now, but it's becoming quite hard.
But I just want to start off and verify that I'm in fact, not dead. Now that that is out of the way, what's going on in my retro like life? Not a lot, but like herpes the love for retro never leaves. I did buy a Nintendo 64 and an Atari 2600 though, oh wait I posted that already. AH, I tried to fix the Atari because it didn't work! Oh wait, damn. I posted that as well. Well, I did leave that on a lame cliffhanger, but a cliffhanger none the less. I didn't in fact try and solder the connections again for about another fortnight because life got in the way. I did get to it eventually though, and it didn't help anything.
The problem is the internet doesn't offer much help in regards to the Junior model (which I have) but is plentiful on the original fat models. The structure of the variances are suppose to be similar, but my tech skills aren't that high. I could try and follow a guide on a fat model with my Junior, but it would be like... er...
My analogies suck this evening.

It currently resides on my table... silently mocking me.
Moving on. A catch up post wouldn't be complete without mention of shit I've brought.

I should start off by mentioning that the copy of Zelda isn't mine, it's currently on loan from a friend. Considering I've never been a fan of anything fantasy, I have a hard time bringing myself to play it usually. Like, I do enjoy it, but it's not on my priority to play it that much. It's a great time waster everything now and again don't get me wrong, but it's just not my type of game.
Both Quake 2 and Wipeout 64 seem great from what I've played so far, but I keep forgetting to buy a memory pack for my N64. Annoying in perspective, but I'll get there eventually.
Road Rash is just awesome though. Out of all the retro games I've played this last month, this is what I've been playing the most. Just the concept of riding motorbikes at high speeds down highways while bashing your opponents with crow bars and by flykicking them in the face... is just awesome. I've never played anything like that before. Also Soundgarden being in the soundtrack will always earn brownie points.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Does the Atari 2600 Jr Work?

Surprise, surprise. A little while ago I received the RF cable for a recently acquired 2600. I bought this sucker as untested quite cheaply because I'm a reckless risk taker. Turns out it turned on and tuned to a perfect black screen.
Considering this got quite boring after a while, I decided to commence into a Game Gear style uphill battle to fix it, because there is of course no such thing as a dead console- unless you're a GG bought from a French swap meet anyway.
First off, I decided to crack open the bastard. What I saw inside horrified me:

Suffice to say, this console must of had a hard life.
I don't know what could have caused that much rust. Was someone pouring water down the cartridge slot? The rust certainly does seem to be most frequent around that area. Ah well, I got my tetanus shots.
After looking at it contently for a minute or so intently, I closed it up again and fired it up for the hell of it. Surprisingly this made nil difference, but I guess it was worth a shot. It's pretty much all I did for one of my Famicom's, although I did pull a hell of a lot of sawdust out of that one.
Anyway from there, I armed myself with rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush, opened it back up and started scrubbing the board. Luckily it seems as if nothing had burst open, but there was nearly 30 years worth of corrosion in there for lucky me to clean up. I was particularly worried about that huge 80's capacitor, but it seems okay for now.
I pulled up that train wreak of a metal cover and cleaned under there as well, I feel I did quite a thorough job in the end:

You could eat your dinner off that, if you like the taste rubbing alcohol. 
Did this fix it? Well, no. I guess having it clean is for the better anyway, so I don't feel as if I wasted any time. Also I now sometimes get colourful static when I turn it on. Better than before when it was just black I guess, but of course it gets boring after a while too as you can probably imagine.
So what's next? I've decided tomorrow that I might go and freshen up some solder points as a few are starting to show their age. Couldn't hurt, and you never know, I might fix that key connection that's stopping me from playing Missile Command.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Additions to the Retro Game On Family

Which is more awesome? 
This could of been two separate posts, but I just wanted to give my fabulous audience a good deal.
Eh, who am I kidding... I'm just lazy.
Today I went into a Good Sammy's and picked up the Nintendo 64 for $25, and yesterday I received the Atari 2600 Jr. in the mail. 

I have only been into that Good Sammy's once- maybe six months ago. First impressions weren't good back then as all I saw was a mid nineties steering wheel for $40. The horrifying thing is that it wasn't there when I went in today so either they marked it down or some sucker got duped. Either way, coming across this Nintendo 64 with a controller and a 4MB RDRAM Expansion Pak for 25 bucks gives me hope for the shop now. Also there was an Xbox with two controllers for $100 (eh) and a fat PS2. Don't how much that was because it was buried under some plates or something. I'm quite content with my slim PS2 for the time being so it doesn't really bother me that I didn't stop to check the price.
There were no games there though so I went into a Cashies like shop to find a cheap test game. All the decent ones were $30, with a whole lot of medicore games for 5 or $10. Out of all the cheapies, Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 seemed the best at $10. It probably is still a little steep price wise, but I could never stay mad at The Hawk. Both the console and the game have been tested and are fully working. Now all I need to get is a Controller Pak so I can save the game...
I also checked out a Salvation Army today but like everyone of those I've ever been to in my life, it was shit.

The story for this Atari 2600 started about a week ago. I was in this huge thrift store and there was Pole Position, Missile Command, Asteroids and Outlaw all for $5 each. Being that good deals are my worst enemy (the N64 being one) I bought them, even though I didn't actually own a 2600 at the time. Good logic right? 
I got home and released that I now had to buy a 2600, or the games would look sad on my shelf because they weren't being played. I went on Ebay, and saw this untested 2600 for $11 with no cables or controllers. It had only about 20 minutes left so I bidded and won. Good real right? Well... kinda. What I neglected to check in the excitement was how much the cables and controllers were by themself.
Turns out there is a lucrative business in after market accessories for retro consoles. The powerpack alone cost me $20, the controller cost me $10 (and this for was a cheap Mega Drive knock off, the 2600 sticks were more) and the RF cable was the cheapest at only $2. Considering I bought all of these for a console that might not work, it made me feel quite silly. I may have even been able to score a decent bundle for that amount all up. Lesson learnt. 
I'm still not sure if it works because the RF cable hasn't turned up yet, but the little red LED lights up when I turn it on because I have the powerpack. This is somewhat promising, but I guess we'll have to wait and see. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Battery Replacement for a GBC Cartridge

Yesterday I did my first ever battery replacement for a game cartridge. It was a copy of Pokemon Gold for the Game Boy Colour, and I feel it won't be the last time I will have to do it. Before the game carts of today (which have flash memory inbuilt) all game saves were physically kept alive by the power of a battery. Sadly batteries don't last forever as you probably know, and once they run out of juice, there goes the game saves.
There is of course no way to retrieve those lost saves once it's gone, but replacing the battery for a new save is a lot easier than I originally thought.
In this post I will show you the step by step on how I replaced the battery. I must stress that this is not a tutorial post, it's just a post on me following this video tutorial. I did find a lot of tutorials out there while researching, and I feel that this one uses the most simplified way of doing things and it was explained the clearest.

First off, the tools of the trade:

The game cartridge, duct tape, a brand new battery (thankfully Nintendo uses readily available batteries in their carts) and my Gamebit tool makes another guest appearance. I knew I would be using it again soon as it works for a load of consoles and cartridges. Also not pictured is a flat headed screwdriver. 

From there I set about removing the dead battery. In theory this was simple enough; use the flat headed screwdriver to separate the battery from the contact tabs which were spot welded together. In the video the guy was popping them like there was no tomorrow. You could tell he had done it before, but it must of took me about 5 minutes per spot weld (there were four all up). I didn't want to apply too much force for fear of cracking the circuit board, so I just kind of chiseled away at them until they broke. Probably not the most practical way of going about it, but at least nothing was broken in the end. 
Finally all the spot welds were broken, and the dead battery was free:

On closer inspection I noticed that the negative side of the dead battery was marked "01 01". I can only presume that this means it was installed January 2001, which seems like sort of a short life span when you think about it. I usually see forum posts now about people wanting to replace dead batteries in NES period games and maybe even SNES period, and they're 10-15 years older than this cart! Maybe Nintendo cheaped out on batteries for this game, who knows. 

The next step was to install the fresh battery. The idea for this was to physically tape it into the contact tabs. Sounds a bit crude I know, but it actually works a charm. Originally I was just going to solder it in, but after some research I was advised against that as it could make the battery explode! Makes sense really; an extremely hot tip against a battery. Hurrr.

As you can see in the picture above, the new battery is securely fastened in with the duct tape. After that it was just a case of putting the lid back on and screwing the security screw back in with the Gamebit.
Mission successful! The game now holds a save, and many more hours can now be enjoyed out of the game!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

GTA 3 On Ma Phone

Last year I blogged about Grand Theft Auto 3 being ported to Android and IOS devices. I was a little peeved as my Android Motorola Defy+ wasn't on the supported list, and I wasn't sure if I should risk the $5 to see if it worked. Well, the other day my curiosity got the better of me and I decided that instead of buying junk food or shitty GBA games, I would risk it for the $5.

A terribly focused picture because I'm a terrible person. 
After downloading the 8mb game from the Android store, and then another 400mb update (I knew the size didn't make sense originally) I was playing. It works! Although the frame rate sometimes leaves a little bit more to be desired.
While it is playable, sometimes random slowdown can happen. Not bad though considering my phone isn't officially supported. For all I know I could of just got a black screen on launch, I certainly don't feel as if I've wasted that $5.
So is it any good? Well yeah, I reckon so. The touch controls can get a bit of getting use to, but that's the beauty of it... they can get used to! Considering Rockstar only had a small space to work with touch screen control wise, I think they did quite well. The driving is excellent, but the shooting isn't as good. Not bad though, but it can get frustrating sometimes.
All in all, I'm quite impressed as there is no other games to my knowledge where you can kill hookers while on the train!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Video: Street Fighter 2 Turbo Review for SNES

I've kept to my word and made a new video, with more to come.
This is my first video review which I've been wanting to make for a while. I feel it went well, and if the reception is good enough I'll make more! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Updates To The Game Room

While I haven't done anymore on my bucklist of sorts for the room yet, I decided to make some changes for the better yesterday that wouldn't cost me a dime. 
First off it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to make use of an empty display cabinet that was already in the room. I dunno why I never did before, but I guess it's good that I finally did.
I filled it full of items that where just on display in front of my games, making the whole collection look quite messy. I forgot to take an after picture of the games collection, but it looks a lot more neater now.

You may also be able to tell that my spare Famicom looks a lot cleaner than it did when I originally received it. I gave it a good clean the other day, and opened it up to see what was making the buttons stick. To my surprise it was full of sawdust! I can't think why it would be, but I'm sure if it could talk it would have an interesting story to tell.

Lastly I moved the step down transformer to a more permanent position near the power point and Japanese consoles. I also made a new home for all the controllers.

Moving the transformer there makes it a lot more easier to play the Japanese games. I use to have to set it up,  and then pack it up everytime I wanted to play some Gradius 3 or whatever, which was a huge pain in the ass. Now all I have to do is turn it on, and I can blow up space dragons without any hassle.
Putting all the controllers in that box makes life a little easier as well. Originally they were all just kinda strewn around the room. But now everything is more organised and there is less chance of me stepping on them, as they were just connected to the consoles on the ground before.
I'll probably upgrade to a better box soon enough, but in the meantime it makes me feel as if something useful came out of drinking a whole carton of Millers ;)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Video: The Chronicles of Trying to Fix my Sega Game Gear

Last year over a period of months, I tried to fix a broken Game Gear. In the end I was not successful, but I just found a video blog I made at the time and decided to upload it. Enjoy my failure. 

Blog posts about this subject in order:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Retro Scan: Kmart: PlayStation Platinum

Thanks to my amazing scanning skills, Kmart is now "Ustralia's No.1 retailer for Sony PlayStation games!"
It's been a while since I posted a retro scan, so I thought I would appeal the masses. Back in the day Kmart use to be an all right place to buy games, and they had plenty of platinum's for good prices. These days the Wii section is bigger than the PS3's, so yeah, that says that. 

From The Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, issue 31.
I really need to find me some more magazines, some that aren't late 90's PSone. Bring some diversity back.

Monday, January 9, 2012

This is a good sign...

I may not have any games for my two Famicom's yet, but it just hit me how I could figure out if it was at least turning on. See; unlike my Super Famicom, it has no indication light to tell me if it's on or not. That's how I figured out my SF was at least turning on, which led me to buying a game for it

This morning I was lovely admiring my collection (like you do) and I decided to have a bit more of a closer look at the joystick pad which I have for the Famicom's. On closer inspection, I noticed that it indeed has a few LED lights on it's self. Huh, didn't notice that before.
I plugged the better looking condition Famicom in, then the pad into the expansion port and then turned it on. Nothing happened. Ah well, I thought to myself. Mind as well have a bit of a play around while its all connected up. To my surprise if I released and then let go of the ejection slider thingy, the lights would light up if I pressed a button.

So much talk about LED's in this blog recently. 
I don't know what the cart ejector has to do with anything, but I figured out I only have to do it once after I plugged it in for the joystick pad to work continually. 
Not so surprisingly, my other Famicom didn't seem to respond. The fact that the reset button is stuck down might have something to do with it though.

This has pushed me to do the same thing for which I have done with my SF, which is to buy a cheap test game. I will choose something like Gradius 3 (which I bought for the SF). It was a cheap reliable game which is also fun. This also means that if it does work, I will at least have something fun to play. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Retro Games Room: The Greater Plan

Behind every retro games collector, is a room. In this room they store everything; the couch, the consoles, the tv, the sound system (usually) and most importantly, the games. I myself am quite proud of my room, but I feel that it can constantly always be improved.
I've had a greater plan for a while in my head, so I thought I would share it with my humble internet audience.

First off, the start of everything. Power.

So many awesome LED's!
My first step was to improve the power-board, which is so far the only step I've completed out of my whole plan.
Originally I only had a dodgy four way powering everything. This was so old it was yellowing (the console are suppose to be old, not the power source) and it wasn't even surge protected. Besides from the fact that it was potentially dangerous, it was just too small. Two were already taken up the tv and the stereo, leaving only another two for consoles. It was always a pain in the ass to keep swapping them around, so to upgrade to a fancy eight way (with all the bells and whistles) made me feel like a king. For the first time in forever, I actually have all my Australian consoles plugged in at the same time. Feels good.

Next step, the AV switch box:

For the time being, I'm content with my current $2 switch box I got from a garage sale. It's doing it's job at the moment, and doesn't need to be urgently replaced like the power-board was. Having said that though, it is completely full. I may have more than four consoles, but the Super Famicom and the SNES currently share the same AV lead and the Famicom plugs in via RF. I am a collector though, which will most probably mean that my collection will grow eventually. So of course my AV switch will need to be upgraded soon, most probably to an eight way.
I was thinking of something like this, but of course a lot of research still needs to be done. If I'm going to upgrade though I feel as if I should go the full nine. You can get ones that have a remote and have a LCD display which tell you which device is currently connected. A bit unnecessary, but cool non the less. 

Next up, games and portables storage:

As you can see, everything is a slightly organised mess. I ninja'd a book case next to the tv, moved half the books and placed in all my games and portables. When I started out it wasn't much of a problem since my collection wasn't that large. But of course as every little thing gets added, space comes more of an issue.
There was a book shelf down at the local Ikea for $89 which would of be perfect, but space in the room as a whole is already tight. I would have nowhere to put it, so the space problem is in limbo right now as I have no idea what to do.

Next step, the consoles:

At the moment they're just strewn all over the floor, ready to be tripped on. I want to actually build something to hold them in front of the tv as nothing I can buy in the shops will cater to my needs. I have built shelving in the past (still using a shelf for all my PS3 games which I made about four years ago) so I feel as if I could pull this off. It would be nothing advanced, but I would make it to be clean cut, usable, and I would make sure it would fit in with the rest of the environment.
I of course haven't really made a solid plan for this yet (bar some scribbles on scrap paper) but I would like it to be a simple, fairly thick three shelve high shelf with no backing. It would be big enough that I can place it in front of my tv, but not too big so it doesn't block anything. I would varnish it off to have a similar finish as the speakers.

That's just about it really. I'll update accordingly when I do (and hopefully I do) get all this done. Hopefully over the course of this year as well!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hardware Review: Generic After Market Power Pack for SNES!

Feel it's wrath! 
Today we have probably the most exciting hardware review ever in Retro Game On history. Yes, hold onto your socks. It's an after market generic power pack for the SNES.
My god, just look at it. Actually, it's recommended that you don't look at it for too long, you may go blind from it's awesomeness.  It's both visually stunning and quite useful at the same time. Just look at that sleek black matt finish, toppled with a green LED. Man, do I love green LED's.
The prongs are also so shiny, I'd rather just look at the damn thing than use it. But alas, it was constructed to be used, not gawked at.
Physically it does what it should do, which is of course power the SNES. But lets not talk about that though, lets just bask in it's glory for a little while longer.

The green LED is just visually stunning. 
When you disconnect it, the LED still stays on for a little while. How it does this I'm still not sure, but one can only presume it's powered by a higher being than me.

I couldn't even focus the camera on it properly, must of been some electro magnetic fields powered by awesomeness causing interference.  
I think something this great should get more than just an article. Yes, I'm going to do it. I'm awarding it something that has only ever been awarded once ever on this blog. Yes, the Retro Game On Seal of Awesomeness!