Tag Archives: Sega

February Gaming

Games completed this month

Managed to clear a couple more games this month, thought it might be worth an update.


header-1Spec Ops: The Line (PC)

As suggested in my January post, I finished this at the start of February. Another one to tick off the 2017 list, I was pleasantly surprised by this. It is perhaps a bit less polished than some comparable military shooters, but the story was ambitious and had something to say. In places it was clunky, and some of the bigger twists were sort of spoiled for me by being late playing it, but if you’re a fan of this style of shooter and haven’t played this yet (or just bored of Call of Duty) it’s definitely worth a play.


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Game of Thrones – Telltale Adventure (PS4)

I managed to stick with this much better following Batman. It’s the worst of the Telltale games I’ve played, but still engaging enough. Part of the problem with it is just how well it does “Game of Thrones”, it’s just so bleak! Easier to recommend if you’re a fan of the show more than a fan of Telltale games, it comes with the same warning you’d give to someone just starting to read the books or watch the TV series. Don’t get too attached to anyone!


Also played in January

70009b60d454b028ef60886bd20b2ae2Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One)

A decent promotion in Game, combined with my remaining store credit saw me picking both this and Shadow of Mordor on Xbox One.  I had intended to play Tomb Raider on either PC or PS4, but couldn’t argue with the price.  I’ve put 20ish hours in so far, and am about 70% through apparently.  Really enjoying it, have noticed a few bits of slowdown but nothing has really damaged the experience.  Looks likely that I’ll finish it in March and be able to move on to something else. Feeling good about continued progress towards that 2017 target!


headerAssault Android Cactus (PC)

Really good twin-stick shmup that deserves more attention than it received. I have been dropping in and out of this for a while, but over the last few weeks I have focused a bit more on the story mode.  I’d hoped to clear it during Feb but finding the last boss to be tricky! I have limited patience to just keep retrying though so I’ll be lucky if I even manage to clear it during March. We’ll see.


maxresdefaultOvercooked (Xbox One)

Finally got a couple of friends together for a decent session on this, made some good progress and we’re starting to gel a bit as a team. Well we were, until the alcohol being consumed hit Peak levels, and our skills went into decline.  Hopefully we can get another go at this in soon.


Mega Drive & Saturn stuff

I’ve now got a new (to me), modded Japanese SEGA Saturn, so have been dabbling quite a bit with that. Planning on picking a Saturn game to settle into when I’m done with Tomb Raider. I’ve got a few ideas so optimistic that’ll turn out well for a future update.

I’ve also been spending a bit of time with the Mega Drive again, mostly just playing a few shmups. I’d quite like to get a 1cc on Super Fantasy Zone on my actual hardware, as I’ve only previously managed to do it under emulation. If I’m successful I might see if I’m capable of any others…

Top 5 Light Gun Games – (Playable on a HDTV…)

A favourite genre of mine growing up, my love for light gun games started with the SMS port of Operation Wolf. A genre most at home in the arcade, the home ports ran right through the various consoles over the years, peaking in the 32bit era, then almost dying out when we all (well not all but you know what I mean) started ditching those giant CRT screens for nice new flat ones.

For me the greatest thing to come out of the whole ‘motion control’ run started by the Wii, was those developers using the Wii pointers and Playstation Move controllers to bring back the Light Gun shooter. The Playstation 3 also had a couple of other gun peripherals, but the decent games are either PSMove compatible or exclusive. This list is simply my top 5 of the games to be played on these systems, then I’ll round it out with a summary of the others I know of for the gen. I think a follow up post might cover my favourites from the CRT days.

So in reverse order:

5) Dead Storm Pirates (PS3)
The least deep (haha) of the games in this list, it’s a no frills port of the arcade game, but it is still great fun to play with a friend. I believe you can get it on its own from the PSN store, but it is also included on the disc with the PS Move version of Time Crisis Razing Storm (more on that at the end) which is now picked up very cheaply.

4) Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection (PS3)
A double pack containing HD updates of Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles from the Wii. Probably not worth getting again if you did complete them on the Wii, but if you’re coming at it fresh, then this is the version to go for. These are actually my favourite Resident Evil games, I always preferred the story to the game play of the main series, and my favourite memories of the early games is still watching other people play rather than playing myself. Be warned though, these are pretty tough!

3) Dead Space Extraction (PS3)
Ported from the Wii version, everything seems pretty much the same, but the graphics have had the usual polish. I understand it’s a prequel to the main Dead Space trilogy, but I still haven’t got round to playing those…

2) Ghost Squad (Wii)
Most of the Wii gun games made it to PS3, where Sony’s console received superior versions. However Ghost Squad was never ported, and is now the sole reason I still keep a Wii hooked up. It’s a port of the SEGA arcade game, and for me as close as they’ve got to recapturing the magic of Virtua Cop. A whole host of unlockables has me regularly going back to this, and it’s always a joy to play with a friend.

1) House of the Dead Overkill (Wii & PS3)
This is superb and quite possibly my favourite Light Gun game of all time. The soundtrack is amazing, some really funky tunes. The writing is often genuinely amusing too, although the dialogue is definitely not for children. The PS3 version has an extra level, supports 3D TV’s and also hilariously anaglyph 3D, shipping with a couple of pairs of the old red & blue 3D glasses. I originally played it through on the Wii, but switched to PS3 when that came out. It’s definitely better played on PS3, but both versions are solid.

Also worth mentioning is the excellent Typing of the Dead Overkill which came out on Steam. This is a typing game using all the levels from the House of the Dead Overkill, in the same way that the original Typing of the Dead on Dreamcast was based on House of the Dead 2.

I never got round to picking up gun attachments for my Wii, and happily play Wii games with just the naked wiimotes, on PS3 however I can recommend the official pistol grip attachments shown in the photo, they do make a difference.

Other mentions:
The Shoot (PS3) – Feels a bit like a tech demo, but it’s mildly entertaining. Worth grabbing for the £1 or £2 it can be found for now.

House of the Dead 2 & 3 (Wii) and House of the Dead 3 & 4 (PS3) – Really good ports of the arcade games, annoyingly HotD 2 never got ported to PS3, but it’s nice to be able to play it on Wii and not worry about finding room for a CRT to hook up a dreamcast…

Time Crisis Razing Storm & Time Crisis 4 (PS3) – Razing Storm is dreadful. However, Time Crisis 4 is a nice arcade game, and this disc also containing Dead Storm Pirates makes it pretty good value just for the two other games.

Link Crossbow Trainer (Wii) – Originally bundled with the bizarre official lightgun attachment for the Wii, this is a surprisingly fun short game. It’s good to play but I’d put that plastic attachment in the bin straight away. Pistol grips are the only way to go if you do want a gun style holder.

Gunblade NY & LA Machineguns (Wii) – I still haven’t played this, they weren’t great arcade games, so I haven’t bothered picking up this double pack of the ports, but may still grab them at some point.

Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack (Wii) – This is a triple pack of the ‘classic’ FMV games, the first two games are also available on the PS3. They’re very hard to recommend as they really haven’t aged well. The Nostalgia is strong though, and I loved the first game with the gun back on the CDi…

You may have noticed that I haven’t included Child of Eden in the list, despite it being in the photo. While still a “Rail Shooter”, it’s not quite the same, having more in common with Rez and the Panzer Dragoon games. Perhaps a blog for another day.

All-Time Top 5 Games Consoles

Time for another top 5, in reverse order again, although I already spoiled this if you read my Top 5 games post.  Again these are my favourites, so the rankings have been influenced by nostalgia and sentiment.  I will throw the “almost made it” machines onto the end.

Number 5 – SEGA Master System

The only system in this list that I don’t currently own, but that’s simply because I play the games on my Mega Drive to save space.  I grew up in a house with 4 older sisters, and fondly remember early years with the shared Texas TI99 and then a ZX Spectrum, but it wasn’t until the Master System that I would get a machine of my own.

I received the Master System II machine with built in Alex Kidd in Miracle World for my birthday. I shortly after received The Ninja and Transbot and these were the only games I owned for a year or so.  Transbot doesn’t really hold up so well now, but I loved them all and Alex Kidd remains a favourite today.  Fortunately, at the time I received my console, two of my sisters’s partners also owned Master Systems, with a good collection of games.  Through borrowing their games I discovered (and played to death) Fantasy Zone, Operation Wolf, Rocky, R-Type, Rampage and Moonwalker.  It was also the beginning of the age of video game rentals, and the repeated renting of Bubble Bobble started a series of gaming with one of my sisters that would continue throughout my childhood.

On Twitter recently, @nakamuramartin started a conversation about retrogaming, asking people to identify the console that they had the most nostalgia for. (Well it was recently when I started writing this…)  In my case nothing tops the Master System for that.

Number 4 – SEGA Dreamcast

The Dreamcast did so many things right, and in many ways was just a bit too early.  Online gaming on consoles wouldn’t really take off until home broadband was more widespread.  I was one of those who did play a lot of Dreamcast online, making full use of the available keyboard & mouse setup to play Quake 3 Arena 2 v 2 Capture the Flag.  It pains me to this day that consoles supporting keyboard & mouse for FPS games didn’t become the norm.  (PS3 showed such promise when Unreal Tournament 3 supported this setup and I loved it.  Interestingly it also supported mods and it was relatively easy to port mods from the PC version over.)

Another win for the machine was the availability of relatively inexpensive but quality Arcade Sticks.  These are still sought after now, and very popular for the modding community to upgrade the components and make them compatible with more modern consoles.  Having access to these for my favourite genres of shmups and fighting games really made the console shine in my eyes.  The console is still regarded as a powerhouse for these two genres particularly, and this is largely how it earns a place in my top 5.

A lot of criticism the Dreamcast does receive is about that controller.  I did find it good for the racing games on the system, and for me it is still the best way to play Crazy Taxi outside the arcade.  However, I can’t recommend it for those genres mentioned above, and understand completely if you wrote off FPS and Fighting games on Dreamcast at the time because the controller was pap.

I keep one setup now, and still return to it regularly for Mars Matrix and trips to Street Fighter Alpha 3.  It also still looks great on my HDTV, thanks to that VGA adapter.

Number 3 – SEGA Mega Drive

Another system on the list heavily influenced by nostalgia, this was the natural progression from my Master System, and still remember the Christmas it turned up.  I had the pack in with Mega Games 2, and spent so much time with Streets of Rage, Golden Axe and the Revenge of Shinobi.  Sonic the Hedgehog blew me away, and much like with Alex Kidd in Miracle World, I still can’t walk past the first Sonic game without at least doing the first couple of stages. So, so good.

Co-op gaming with my sister continued here, with Toejam & Earl being the game of choice.  Also fond memories of playing hours of 3 & 4 player James Pond: Aquatic Games, such a great multiplayer title.  I also enjoyed watching my sister play through Ecco the Dolphin, and being thoroughly confused by that final boss.  (I found the game too terrifying to play myself, and still struggle with it now!)  It’s such an iconic game though, I’d love a new Ecco game.

There are so many memories from the Mega Drive, and I hope to cover some of my favourites from the system in future posts.  I recently picked up an EverDrive cartridge for mine, and am enjoying discovering those titles from the excellent library of 16 bit shmups I missed first time round.  It’s a joy in full 60hz RGB.

Number 2 – PlayStation Vita

Probably the only system in the list that some people might find surprising, but bear with me. The second place spot was previously occupied by the Atari Jaguar (!) for the simple fact that it housed my previous favourite game of all time, Tempest 2000.  I am happy to replace that in my life with the Vita, since TxK took over as my favourite game, and is exclusive to the Vita.  At least with Tempest 2000 I can play an almost as good version on my number 1 console…

I adore the Vita, it’s so good at what it does.  It has an excellent collection of shmups, the first time I’ve really enjoyed them on a handheld. The PSP did a decent enough job, just never found it comfy enough for extended play times.  Wipeout 2048 is superb and there are so many great indies that although multiplatform, I still consider them ‘best on vita’.  Games like Velocity 2X, Rogue Legacy, Limbo, Thomas Was Alone etc.

Number 1 – SEGA Saturn

I’m certainly not alone in this choice, although at the time you could barely find people who had even heard of it.  The console that really made me feel like the Arcade experience was possible at home.  SEGA Rally, Virtual Fighter 2, Virtua Cop, these were the games I wanted to play constantly.  Digging deeper, particularly into the Japanese library, you discover that it has one of the greatest librarys of 2D shmups and fighters ever.  SNK and Capcom both put some superb titles onto this machine, often making use of the 1-4MB RAM expansion card to achieve amazing arcade ports that just weren’t possible otherwise.

This was also the last system I played a lot with my sister, before we grew up and moved out. We lived on Bust-a-Move 2 (Puzzle Bobble) and it remains my favourite Puzzler/Match 3 to this day.  We even had the Bubble Bobble & Rainbow Islands pack, and played that together feeling nostalgic for the Master System.

This is close to being my most played console, and is in constant contention with my more modern machines.  I love it and if I only had one machine it would definitely be a SEGA Saturn.

Sega Saturn Joy

 

I could have been a contender…

PSX – This was close, as it does have some absolute gems.  Racing games in particular really stand out, I have found myself picking some of these up again to play on my PS3.  If anything though it is partly represented by the PS Vita, since playing Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and Kula World on that is a joy.

Neo Geo Pocket Colour – I have such affection for this console, and I still think it has the best thumbstick of any handheld.  A bigger library and a backlit screen would probably have secured it’s place in my top 5, I still fondly remember getting mine at UK launch.  I’ve yet to find another handheld that is so satisfying for fighting games.

All-time Top 5 Videogames

Hot on the heels of (13 months later than) my Top 5 Christmas songs, I’ve decided this format is a useful tool for inspiring blog posts.  This is still influenced by High Fidelity, but also because my friend Simon over at Red Parsley does it so well.

Maybe writing about my top 5 games of all time might give me pause to consider that I have the list right.  I’ll add a few ‘also rans’ to the end for those that either nearly made the list, or that may have been on there in the past.

In reverse order:

Number 5 – Saturn Bomberman – SEGA Saturn 1996

Bomberman is one of my favourite game series, and still my favourite local multi-player title.  I’ve been playing it since Dyna Blaster, and there have been some stand out titles along the way.  (Also plenty of dross spin-offs, but we’ll skip over them)  The Saturn edition is my favourite, partly because it’s on my favourite system of all time (oooh, I can feel another list coming on) but also because 10 player bomberman on a widescreen is still a thing of beauty, and a highlight of retro events for me.  I also enjoyed the single player campaign on this one, which I wouldn’t usually bother with.  Other releases in the series that I’ve really enjoyed are:

Bomberman Live: (This was Xbox 360, but essentially the same game came to Wii and PS3, I bought all 3 versions to play with different groups of friends online).  I adored it on the 360 and played it constantly.  Sadly my friends gradually stopped playing with me, apparently I’m a Bomberbully. 😦

Wario Blast: One of my favourite games for the original Gameboy, and one of few I still own.  I remember playing through this in co-op with my best mate in high school on his Super Gameboy.  Perhaps that SNES had a use afterall… *chuckle*

Atomic Bomberman: Difficult to defend generally, I nonetheless had a lot of fun with this.  Supporting 10 players, I played a bunch of it online on PC way before the Xbox 360 was on the scene.  It also helped that I grabbed the ‘Sold Out Software’ release, for full RRP, £4.99.

The PSX, Mega Drive and PC Engine also have solid versions I would happily recommend. 

Saturn Bomberman

Number 4 – Warcraft 3 – PC 2002

My favourite ever RTS, and the reason I ended up losing thousands of hours to World of Warcraft…  Real Time Strategy is that one genre I like the idea of much more than the reality.  I think Warcraft 3 remains as the only RTS I completed the entire story mode for, and all the content from the expansion.  It’s also the only one I ever managed to win any games online against randoms (although probably still less than 1 in 10…)  I keep it installed now, and still fire up the occasional skirmish.

It's all your fault, WC3!

It’s all your fault, WC3!

Number 3 – Bubble Bobble – SEGA Master System 1991

There is admittedly a certain amount of sentimentality to this for me, but the game still holds up today and deserves its place here.  These days I play it on the SEGA Saturn double release with Rainbow Islands, but first time round this was a regular on my Master System (arguably the best home port of the game ever) I played it in co-op with one of my sisters, and it is a favourite gaming memory.  If I ever do a top 5 local co-op games list, I’m pretty sure this will be number 1.  Interestingly the ‘Match 3’ spin-off series Bust-a-Move/Puzzle Bobble is my favourite game in that genre too, and I played a lot of that with the same sister when I first got my Saturn.  From a nostalgia point of view, Toejam & Earl holds a similar place in my heart to Bubble Bobble, as that was our game on the Mega Drive, but it doesn’t play quite so well today.

Bubble Bobble

Number 2 – Quake – PC 1996

This was the game that made me really pay attention to the FPS genre.  One of my biggest (my views on Nintendo aside) ‘gamer crimes’ is not really liking Doom.  I just never really caught the hype, and although I had quite a bit of fun with Heretic, I didn’t really ‘get it’ until Quake came, and things were really 3D for the first time.  It also helped that I experienced DosQuake, then WinQuake, then GLQuake over a short period of time, each one blowing my mind afresh.  It was seriously close to taking my number one spot, and I replay at least the first few levels frequently (albeit with a nice new modern engine).  The single player game is glorious and the theme had me hooked.

The multi-player introduced me to deathmatches and led to those weekends of carrying your whole PC to a friend’s house for LAN parties.  It sparked a love affair with FPS multi-player which lasted a solid decade for me, and peaked with Q3A and UT99.  There have been great games since, but those are always the experiences I’m chasing when I play online now.

Quake

Number 1 and the greatest game of All-time! – TxK – 2014

Up until the release of TxK, this spot was occupied by Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar.  My views on Tempest 2000 can be applied to TxK pretty much as a copy & paste and still fit exactly.

TxK for me is the perfect game.  The visuals, sounds and gameplay all suit my tastes, and when I play it is gaming enjoyment at its finest.  This game alone would be enough to keep my Vita secure in its place as my favourite ever handheld (uh-oh…).  I also really love Space Giraffe (the game that caused me to buy an Xbox 360).

If you get the chance, Llamasoft attend a lot of games shows across the UK, and frequently have a version of TxK running on VR hardware with a custom built rotary controller.  This is the best way to experience the game, and I really wish it was in my house.

TxK

I could have been a contender…

These games almost made my list, and if I make top 5 lists based on platform or genre, I’d expect to see them there.

From the Master System: Fantasy Zone and Alex Kidd in Miracle World.  Both games massively sentimental for me, bathed in nostalgia.  I grew up with four older sisters who owned various micro computers.  My first gaming experiences were on the Texas Ti99, Commodore 16+4, Rubber-keyed speccy, but the first machine that was MINE was my Master System 2.  It had Alex Kidd built in, and it’ll forever be in my heart.  Fantasy Zone was probably bettered by its sequels, but the original still holds up.

Representing Nintendo (because I’m not a monster): Animal Crossing and Mario Kart.  These two series are generally the reason I buy Nintendo hardware.  Animal Crossing on the 3DS is probably my favourite, and Mario Kart Wii was stand-out because of how much I played it online.  Mario Kart DS at the height of the console’s popularity was sublime though, at one point I was playing this daily with 4 other people during lunchtime at work, including my boss.

Honourable mention: Myst – This was bundled with our first Windows 95 PC, a delightful P75 Compaq Presario.  It was SO pretty, and the music and sound fx were spot on.  I have been replaying it as ‘Real Myst’ on Steam recently, it gets a lot of grief, but it’s one of the best adventure games I’ve ever played, and one of the most atmospheric games of any genre.  (Also read the books, they’re excellent.)

“Real Gamers are Platform Agnostic”

As much as I hate the idea of “hobby gatekeeping” the title above is something I have been known to band about (see “I’m with the Sega Boy“). Of course the statement is mostly how I justify buying more games and consoles than I could ever actually play, rather than a declaration about “gamers”, whatever the hell they are…

A general rule for games consoles has always been the requirement of that “killer app” to sell the machine.  What I find interesting, is when they go beyond the obvious.  Everyone knows Sonic and Mario sold consoles, but it’s always refreshing to hear of other games that made people jump in.  Since the Dreamcast, the last machine I bought to play SEGA exclusives, there have been some key titles that stood out and made me buy each machine.  I largely skipped the PS2, but I think I’ve owned most other systems since the DC.

GameCube 
Main game here was Luigi’s Mansion, which I did really enjoy.  My console purchase was also helped by stumbling across a dirt cheap 2nd hand one only a month after launch…

Xbox
Admittedly I bought this for Halo, as it became apparent that as much as I prefer keyb & mouse for fps, I was going to have to get used to a controller.  The other factor though was the ease of modding, so I spent more time with emulators on my Xbox, and using xbconnect to play Rainbow 6 and Links golf online with friends, bypassing Xbox live…

Nintendo DS
Mario Kart and Animal Crossing were the big factors here, no surprises. Probably still my favourite versions of both franchises.

Wii
Yes, I bought this at launch to play Wii Sports, just like everyone else, I’m not a monster.  Later the purchase was justified with the addition of Mario Kart and Animal Crossing, apart from that I mostly played GameCube games on it.

Xbox 360
The promise of Space Giraffe from Jeff Minter put this on my radar, and I was happily waiting for the release to buy it.  However I played Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved and Assault Heroes on a friends machine, and I was convinced to jump in before SG came out.  SG was still day one though, rank 27 on the hardcore leaderboard is about the best I think I’ve ever done on any game…

PS3
As with the 360, my main reason for buying this wasn’t out yet when I bought the console.  I was sold on PS3 when I heard about the upcoming Wipeout HD, I was content waiting for that, until the same friend showed me Super Stardust HD and Everyday Shooter.  There should also be an honourable mention here for SingStar, was definitely a factor!

3DS
Techinically I didn’t buy this, as it was generously donated by a friend who was upgrading to an XL.  However my reasons for wanting it were the usual Mario Kart and Animal Crossing combo…

PS Vita
This was another launch purchase for me, only my second one ever. Wipeout 2048 and Super Stardust both being ready at launch were enough to convince me, and I never regretted the purchase.  Later FuturLab’s Velocity games and Jeff Minter’s TxK (which arrived replacing Tempest 2000 as my favourite game of all time) would secure the Vita’s place as my favourite handheld system.

PS4
I resisted this for a while, mostly because I was still mourning the demise of Wipeout, RESOGUN was a huge draw though.  I played it at a friends knowing that I’d eventually own one.  It wasn’t long after RESOGUN turned up on the Vita and I was playing that constantly that I was in GAME handing over my cash for a PS4.  PSPlus was a big draw too, having been subscribed to that prior to the PS4 launching, meant I’d already got a decent library of games for it by the time I picked one up.

Xbox One
My most recent purchase, only in the last few months.  Rare Replay was the key title here, without which I might have skipped it entirely.  While RR was the catalyst, Halo Master Chief collection and Forza exclusives sold it.  On the whole I still think the PS4 is the better choice if you’re only going to have one current system, but both Halo and Forza are “best in class” for me, and completely warrant owning an Xbox One as well.

I should also give a nod to my gaming PC, it is decent enough that I can still play latest releases, although I’m no longer getting away with setting all the graphics to max at 1080p… (4k is still some way in my future) The low cost of games on PC is a factor in my maintaining one, so I often pick up cross-platform titles on Steam.  The biggest draw in terms of exclusives for me though is Blizzard.  Even discounting the thousands of hours I originally spent on WoW, a significant amount of my gaming time is spent on StarCraft 2, Heroes of the Storm and Diablo 3 (yeah I know it has a console release, but I still prefer playing it on pc, click click click).  Having a persistent games library for PC is also a nice touch, compared to effectively starting from scratch each new console generation.  It’s pretty horrific for the backlog though…

So far as notable absences go, I think I just missed out the Wii U.  I have been largely uninspired by this, Mario Kart should have been enough, but I really don’t like that controller and the Animal Crossing titles have been disappointing.  I maintain that I would buy a budget Wii U that had a classic controller instead of the touchscreen one, ala the later Wii’s that dropped backwards compatibility, and just came with Mario Kart.

And with that, I manage not to go a whole year without updating the blog. I’m off to play Forza.

Mega Drive Modding Success

Off work with heinous dental issues I decided to use the time today productively.  It turns a bit of console modification was just the thing to distract from the pain.

My wire, switches etc arrived earlier this week, and deciding I could only afford one game before I next get paid, I plumped for this below.  Flicky is one of my favourite “I’ll just have a bash” games, and Gunstar Heroes was on my list as something I absolutely need to put some time into.  The other two games aren’t bad, but I’m not so fussed.

I feckin love Flicky!

I feckin love Flicky!

I got myself sorted, cleared some space, and loaded up the guide I’d chosen to work from.  It can be found here if you’re interested.  On we go!

This wont hurt. I hope.WP_20140725_003Nekkid Drive

 

 

 

 

Minor dilemma.  Once I exposed the mainboard and found the jumpers referenced by the guide, I discovered the layout was different than expected.  Basically the jumpers were in order JP 1 – 4, where as the models referenced in this guide and most of the others I’d see go, 1 2 4 3.  I wasn’t sure I could then rely on the pin diagram (and don’t own a multimeter). Fortunately I googled the version number of the board “bd m5 pal” and found this page. It’s for the two switch mod, and the guide isn’t so clear, but it did give me enough information to proceed with the first guide.

Pilot hole! Widened with a file It fits, by jove!

Making the hole to fit the switch was the bit I was most worried about, but it went pretty smoothly.  Some cautious drilling, followed by a bit of time filing.  This is my first time doing any kind of mod with an externally visible part, so was relieved that it looked okay.

Camera refused to focus properly on the switchComedy wires

I couldn’t get my phone to focus on the switch to show the pins, but connecting to it was pretty straight forward.  Simply a matter of pushing the cable through a hole, and holding it in place with a blob of solder.  You’ll notice I haven’t included any close ups of my soldered joints.  This is because my soldering is horrific, and will give you nightmares.  From the second pic, you can see the main mistake that I made in the whole process.  Vastly over-estimated the length of wire required.  I went with it anyway.

Well look at that!She's so pretty!

I tested my switch while the machine was still in pieces, and happy it was working as required, I put the machine back together.  Gotta say I am pleased with how it has turned out!

Full screen Flicky! <3

Full Screen Flicky makes me happy!

Gunstar Heroes Altered Beast

It’s not so present in Flicky, but Altered Beast and Gunstar Heroes have an odd border down the left when in 60hz.  I suspect this is down to my TV.  The games running at full speed is much more important though, and I’m very happy with the results.

50hz Altered Beast

Just in case you were curious, here’s Altered Beast running with the switch at Euro 50hz. Yikes.

Now to pick up some games!  Must get a Japanese one soon, as the previous owner of the Mega Drive had filed down the cartridge slot so that they should fit in and I’m keen to test it. Also on the lookout for Bio-Hazard Battle, one of my favourite Mega Drive Shmups and may earn a blog post of its own.

 

Another Console Project Beckons

Been ages since I updated, again!

I did maintain the sitting on the beach plan, but my productivity was limited to a few things I needed to write for work, and progressing with my reading list.

However, I have finally got around to acquiring a Mega Drive, and as such there is a need to mod it! (What could go wrong?)

Mega Drive

 

A thing of beauty, isn’t it?  I also grabbed one of the recommended SCART leads from here so it can draw stereo audio from the headphone socket.

The games that came with it were all terrible, but it is working and has a couple of controllers.  I’ve now ordered the bits I need to attempt the Region and PAL/NTSC switch mod, so expect an update detailing how it went wrong in the coming weeks.