Welcome to Retro Game On!

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Retro Game On & ContentID

Aghhh, I've been hit! 
Ouch, ouch. Right in the YouTube channel. Ohh. That stings.
Unfortunately (for me, not you) my review of Metal Gear Solid which I happily reviewed not too long ago, has been deemed by ContentID as infringing copyright law.
Wait, what's ContentID again? ContentID is a database of files that checks all uploaded videos to see if there is anything in them owned by someone else. In theory, this is a good idea so that nobody can upload the latest Transformers lamefest and earn money off it using AdSense. However, it doesn't work 100%. When certain types of videos (like game reviews) get flagged, it's simply not fair. These videos fall under something called Fair Use, because how the hell are you going to create a good video review without showing game footage? Fair Use is a legal term, and is completely legit. I'm obviously no lawyer though (I'm a retro game reviewer, damn it) but there is a great website explaining it all which can be found here.
ContentID does not discern between that and someone trying to make an illegal buck off someone else's legal property though, and it picked up my Metal Gear Solid video since I showed too much of a cutscene (while in the video I was ironically explaining how awesome they are).

So then, what can the average YouTuber do about this?
If you do get picked up then usually your video is not deleted, which is why you can still enjoy my review today. Having said that though, the right owner can then decide to do a number a things with the video, like taking all ad revenue earned on the video in question. This doesn't affect me so much as my channel is quite small, but I can imagine this being quite the pain in the bum for a YouTuber who makes their living creating videos. After putting hours into a video which falls under something like Fair Use, you don't want all the potential money going to someone else over a bogus claim.
From there you can file a dispute, which looks like the obvious route, but it's there where things get dicey.
The thing is, it's totally up to the copyright holder if you're doing the right thing or not. They ultimately hold the power to let you have the ad revenue, or they take down your video forever. Doesn't that seem one sided to you? What's to stop (in my case) Konami from just taking down my video anyway? What sort of defence does a small-time YouTuber like me have?  

If they do that, your channel then receives a copyright strike. If that happens, then your channel goes into something called bad standing. If that happens, you lose the ability to do all sorts of cool stuff with your channel. This includes the ability to have videos longer than 15 minutes, custom thumbnails and ironically being able to dispute ContentID claims.
I don't want to lose those things, so I have decided to not dispute this claim. In my mind I know its being wrongly singled out, but since it's such a one-sided fight I've been painted into a corner. Ultimately, I'll just have to be careful when uploading videos from now on. The system doesn't seem to pick up on cutscenes if you only show a little bit of them, and gameplay is fine since there would be no such clip in the library that ContentID checks that will be exactly like mine.
Honestly though, I don't like my creative freedom being threatened like this. What can I do though?
This is the current state of the internet.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Video: Cruis'n USA for N64 Review

Today we're back to the N64 to play a port of an arcade machine that's very dear to my heart (which is a very weird thing since I'm in my early 20's).

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Japanese Connection: Part 2, PS1

Previously, on Retro Game On: Super Famicom awesominess, mixed in with cheapiness. Overall: greatness.

Today, we travel over to the 64bit era; the original Sony PlayStation.
Now, I already own three PlayStations. Mindbendingly, this is the fourth PS1 I now own. Owning that many is a bit ridiculous, but at least this one plays Japanese games. I was considering chipping my existing daily driver so it would play all regions, but while the process of soldering the chip to the motherboard seems quite easy, obtaining the actual chip is not. After half an hour of Googling around, I ultimately decided it would be a lot easier and not that much more expensive just to outright buy a NTSC-J model. The closest thing to a quote for a chip I could find was something like $20, while the above bundle (including the console, memory card, a thumbstickless controller and Tomb Raider III) cost $26. While that's quite a reasonable price for that sort of thing even here, the real reason I bought it was because of the cheap games, much like with the Super Famicom in the last post.

Parappa the Rapper, complete in box with a poster and various other pamphlets cost ten flipping dollars. The equivalent PAL version ranges from $50-$80, so I feel I'm definitely onto something here. The text is in Japanese mind you though, but all the voice acting is in English so I can get down and funky fresh in my own language.
I've been wanting this game for a very long time. It was always on demo disks that I had growing up, so finally owning the full version after all these years feels really great indeed. Next on the list is Vib Ribbon; another demo I grew up with that's a lot cheaper in Japan. Unfortunately I did get a rego bill for the Retromobile yesterday though, so this will have to be put on hold along with me generally saving money for a new Retromobile, but I think Parappa the Rapper will keep me entertained for a while.

Now, for part 2 of weird shit in my packages from Japan.

Japanese people just seem so nice. I want to go to Japan and huge every single one of them (except for that famous cannibal guy). Bundled in with the PlayStation was this: a plastic zip-lock bag that reads (grammar added) "Hi, small present, Power Stone to bring happiness" with a nice big smiley face on the back. Honestly, this sort of thing is entirely not necessary, but it put a smile on my face that day regardless. Thank you, anonymous Japanese person.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Japanese Connection: Part 1, Super Famicom

I really hate saving money. Like, a lot. Probably more than you.
The thing is, I use to be super good with money. That though, was when I had no job. I've been constantly employed for nigh on three years now, which is actually less time than this blog has been running. Since I use to squirrel away my nuts away like the brulatest of brutal winters was coming, suddenly having a constant stream of income threw me out of whack. I was by no means hauling in huge stacks of nuts either. Let's not beat around the bush here, I was and still am on minimum wage, but it beat the hell out of having no money whatsoever.
Years later, and an incredibly increased retro game collection later, saving money is so, so hard. I won't complain too much longer (there is a blog post here somewhere, promise) but eBay is just so damn shit for this type of thing. I'm suppose to be saving for a new car, damn it, but the temptation of the Japanese market has been too much for me lately.
You see, for some reason games are so much cheaper there. Take the loot in the above photo for instance; That complete copy of F-Zero cost me $11. Those cartridges of all three Donkey Kong Countries cost me $25 for the lot. Sound cheap? Holding your heading and screaming? Well yeah, it is, and the head screaming is warranted.
As of writing a boxed and complete copy of F-Zero on the Australian market costs $90 (and apparently it's rare!) while those Donkey Kong carts seem to go for anywhere from $30-$50 each. What the hell Australia? Where are these prices even coming from?

Some may see the fact that they come from Japan as a problem, because well, you know... they speak Japanese there. But this is less of a problem that you'd expect. There is absolutely no Japanese text in F-Zero at all, even only half the instruction manual is in Japanese (while the English version can be easily found online). There is a bit more Japanese text in the Donkey Kong games, but not so much that its unplayable. A surprising amount is in English. It's a bit weird to be honest, but it's great for me and the amount of money I save. Of course you need a Super Famicom to play these, but maybe you'll strike it lucky and get one for free like I did.

And do you know what the best part of buying from Japan is? The presents. No, I kid you not. I received more than games in my package from Japan:

In part 1 of weird shit in my packages from Japan (yes, there is more in part 2!) I received two Dragon Ball Z cards. Why? I have no idea. Am I chucking them out though? Hell no.  Dragon Ball Z for life.

My review of F-Zero can be watched here

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Video: F-Zero for the SNES Review

After a terrifyingly long break from the SNES, I'm happy to report that I'm reviewing F-Zero today. This game shows how awesome launch titles can be, and showed off what the SNES (with Mode 7) was really capable of at the time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Video: Sonic "Perler Art" from 8bit Evolution Review

No review this week, but today (for something a little bit different) I review an art piece that 8bit Evolution sent me, involving none other than Sonic the Hedgehog.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Retro Game On Does Kalgoorlie

When you think of Kalgoorlie, what do you think of? Gold? Skimpies? The Mining Tax?
If you're not Australian, you're probably thinking "I don't remember playing a Kalgoorlie in the 80's" and that's totally okay. No matter what though, if you're Australian you wouldn't associate it with retro gaming.
If you're still wondering, Kalgoorlie is a mining town in Western Australia. It's known for having the biggest hole in Australia that we scoop gold out of. It's so big, it has 'super' in its name. It is called... The Super Pit. The Super Famicom has 'super' in its name, and that's pretty super, so by default this pit called a Super Pit is actually quite super. It looks like this:

Dale dug a hole.
Pretty super, eh? But why was I there? Am I a miner now? Nah. What about a Mining magnate? Sadly not. I was there for a family event, and thought I would check out some op-shops and do some promotion while I was there. See how promotion was in italics? That was probably me trying to be funny, but stay tuned to find out more.

The first place I went to was a Red Cross, which was in walking distance of my motel which was great since I didn't have my car.
I picked up these two for a couple of dollars each.

Nothing too out of the ordinary, right? You would think the case labelled "Sony PlayStation Catalogue" would be a demo disk wouldn't you? Well, the booklet inside is, talking about games and accessories but if there was a demo disk, its long gone.
I had an idea when I first looked what the game actually was, but I had to wait until I got home to confirm it. It wasn't labelled with a game name, but it was plastered with the logos advertising 3D Realms and GT Interactive. It wasn't black with simple white text like virtually every other PSone demo disk I've ever seen, but instead looked like a nuclear warning symbol. You've probably already figured out what it is, but for those still scratching their heads, it was none other than the PSone version of Duke Nukem 3D. Come get some! This was a nice surprise to say the least, as it sure beats paying money for demos. The booklet will make a nice retro scan blogpost one day though.

Besides from that, there is also Jack Nicklaus Golf, which is a DOS game. Honestly, I just bought this so I would reach the Eftpos minimum as I had no cash. Who knows though, it might be a laugh one day for a review; if/when I finally get around to doing PC reviews, anyway. Otherwise I'm sure it will make a great coaster.

In-between gallivanting around Op-Shops, I also saw a few other tourist attractions like the Broad Arrow Tavern:

This unique son-of-a-gun, is the only remaining pub of a ghost town. While that's cool in its self, at this pub you can write on walls. In fact, every square inch is covered in messages like "Davo was ere '07" or "Brad is lamo'o '94 ahaha". As humorous as they all were, I noticed a distinct lack of website promotion, so I of course fixed that.

On a XXXX Gold sign, no less.
Obviously, I don't think my target market drinks at this pub and since there is so much writing everything it will basically be drowned out. But none the less, Retro Game On is now a rebel. Graffiti on a wall; wearing a leather jacket and riding a motorbike. Watch out, hide your daughters. Who knows what this rebel without a cause will do next.

Well, if you're still wondering... he went to another op-shop.

This was also two dollars, but is a lot better than another damn golf game. Its actually one of those games I've been after for a little while too, so I was happy to find it in a Salvation Army that was also in walking distance from the motel.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to visit another op-shop while in Kalgoorlie, but I did check one out in the town of Southern Cross on the drive home. This was an independent, and while the lady thought there was a box of computer games available, they were nowhere to be seen. Oh well, it was at that point there were some people having a yelling match in the street, so I ate some surprisingly good nachos at the roadhouse and then hightailed it back to civilisation. Back to a stable internet connection, anyway.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Video: Metal Gear Solid for PSone Review

Today I check out and review what some say is the best game ever made. Is it? WELL... yes. No. Probably.
Its so good it received a copyright claim from Konami, anyway.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Scan: "Where do you play with yours?" Poster

I'm sure just about every gamer in the 90's had this poster on their wall, but since I've recently come into contact with a mint copy after buying Banjo-Kazooie boxed and complete, I thought I'd take the opportunity to upload it here.
It is a bit wrinkled after being folded in a box for so long, but otherwise its not faded or ripped anywhere.

One side has the iconic image of Mario swinging Bowser by his tail (which I'm sure was on more than one version of these posters), but the other-side includes promotional stuffs for the N64 and the Game Boy Pocket. It's pretty simply otherwise; I'm actually struggling to write anything more about it.
Um... the N64 stuffs seems to be held together by a bendy blue lightsaber while the GBP stuffs is held together by a red one? What could it possibly mean? Cue Twilight Zone music; or don't. Just enjoy the images.
I'll probably get this framed actually. I'm sure this would look rad on a wall.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Video: The Best Retro Gaming YouTube Channels

Something a bit different this week as I'm currently reviewing something a little more in-depth than usual. Watch this space.
This week I've complied a list of all my favourite retro gaming channels. These are the channels that inspire and entertain me, and I encourage everyone to check them out.