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HDMI Mega Drive – CONTROLLERs – Cadash, Saint Sword, Shadow Blasters & Populous I+II

Mega Drive KnockOff 1

The last years I played retro mostly on emulators. But I have my collection and really wanted to play more on the real hardware on my TV in the living-room. I connected my old Mega Drive … but it was not the perfect solution.

Then I spotted the MD HDMI thx to Retro Core …

… and this was the machine I was waiting for. An overseas and Japan switch to avoid region locks, all region-cartridges fits in and a brilliant HDMI output. The only minor complain I have, is that the sound is not total equal with the original Mega Drive / Genesis and that the cartidges fit imo too tight in the machine. I took an old cartridge and pulled it 20-30 times in and out … maybe it worked a bit … I’m not sure. But I use a kind of technique. To remove a cartridge, I got used to loosen at first one side and then pull off the complete cartridge. The original sounds a bit more bassy and so a bit more full. The knock-off is near and at all it sounds still good. But I had to adjust it on my TV to have a proper result (see below).

The machine itself is a bit light in comparison to the original … but well crafted and the switches and material feels very good.

The wireless controllers feels at the first sight maybe a bit loose, but they are not. The digicross is very, very good in the way of gameplay and the buttons too. And dispite wireless … no lag at all!

So the overall package is absolutely great, payed 64€ shipping included … no complains, I’m happy! And finally I have beside my originals Pal and US-Mega Drive/Genesis finally a Japanese version. I always thought it looks best, with its big golden 16-bit logo and colorful prints and blue reset button on it. The US-Genesis version is second … the Pal black&white design third. But I love the look of the model one Mega Drive / Genesis in general!1 It looks simply great on any desk 😀

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Mega Drive KnockOff 2

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I played the last years nearly only via emulators, collected items and prooved most if they work … now I realize, I totally forgot how much more fun it is!!!! Seriously, it’s so much more fun to play it on a real machine instead on emulators on a PC, it’s incredible. It’s maybe difficult to explain, but it is a different experience!1

Therefore the sound is a bit thinner than on your original Mega Drive, adjust the sound on your television … I had various variations I can handle on my TV – an equalizer and some other options to vary the sound. The 5 and 10 KHZ I lowered later back to default. But you have to find you own settings, cause every TV sounds different.

Mega Drive KnockOff 5 (1)

In case of the screen I lowered the sharpness of my HDTV (you can set separately for each HDMI port – just like the sound settings) to make it look most natural like it was back then – despite of the higher resolution at all. It looks stunning!

Sonic Mega Drive Genesis HDMI

… and at least the rest of the pack – some games and controllers 🙂 The Hyperkin GN6 6-buttons controller for the Mega Drive/Genesis is top notch!1 The best third party controller you can get!! I ordered already three more -> highly recommended!

games n controller MD HDMI s

Edit: 09 09 2017 – HDMI Mega Drive postscript:

I want to add two information to the HDMI Mega Drive review. One is  good news … the other don’t.

The good one is … I mentioned the tight fit of the cardridges in the HDMI Mega Drive knock-off. It was really hard to pull off the games first (see last article how to pull off the games at the beginning best). But after I used it now a while, the slot widened a bit and everything works perfect. Now it’s easy to pull off the cardridges.

Second is the bad news. On the back of the machine there is a J (Japan) and O (overseas) switch to avoid the region locks. But overseas means US region-lock only. Pal games with region lock (e.g. TMNT Hyperstone Heist) will not work on the HDMI Mega Drive! I tested Hyperstone Heist on my original Pal Mega Drive and it worked perfectly … but not on the HDMI MD. Luckily many Pal Mega Drive games have no region lock, but also many have … and then the overseas option will not work.

Here’s a link to a list of region locked games on MD:

http://segaage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=45&threadid=83645

I have a lot of US and Japanese MD/Genesis games and many Pal games of mine work on the HDMI Mega Drive.

But there are of course many important Pal titles which will work only on a Pal machine. Therefore I have one, it’s not a dealbreaker for me … I can switch the machines.

But if you’re from Pal region and your collection is mainly made of Pal games, the HDMI Mega Drive is not the complete package you maybe hoped for! You still need your good old Pal Mega Drive in the back.

I’m really happy with the HDMI Mega Drive, but decide for yourself.

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SONIC MANIA does what Sonic Team don’t!!

No, this is not played on the Mega Drive you see on my TV … maybe at the first sight it looks like, but it’s not. The blue light on the PS4 is the Hedgehogs pumpin’ heart, alive and finally in all its glory since 16-bit!1 IT IS SO MUCH FUN!1 If you loved the 16-bit Sonic games -> Sonic Mania is a must have for you!! Sonic is back!

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New items: RoP – Chakkan – ChR – LoK:SR – TRI,II,IV – SX2 – UGnG – MSX

Rings of Power:

I sneaked only a little bit in, but it seems for me a very interesting RPG for hardcore role playing gamers. Graphic and sound is something between 8 and 16 bit consolewise. E.g. your char don’t scroll fluently, but walks clunky from square to square over the map. Here you can switch between a closer view and an overwiev. You walk over a field which looks similar to the Populous games. But this is no god-simulation, but a traditional western RPG. It’s kind of an open world western Role Playing Game. From the beginning on you can reach every city/area on the worldmap.

The game was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Electronic Arts. Yes Naughty Dog, the current Sony-exclusive developer of the Uncharted and Last of US series.

Despite of the simple presentation it has its fascination, cause of its deep RPG content. The game is from 1991, so still a more early 16-bit RPG. Regard, this game is for Role Playing enthusiasts only!

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Chakan:

This game is interesting. I think it’s an underrated game, which deservers more attention.

The first impression is, that it has the cooler dark intention … yeah, like Soul Reaver in a way. The second impression is the weak presentation with the dull intro music … which maybe leads to a misjudgement by some gamers if they don’t sneak deeper into the game. Technically the graphic is for 1993 nothing special on the MD/Genesis, it’s o.k., … but the style I really like.

Then you start into the game (yes it has the weird western Mega Drive/Genesis sound engine). At all I liked the audio more while playing than I thought. Most levels are filled more with ambient sound/music … and this fits well to the games atmosphere, only 1-2 levels have tracks/music. At all the audio fits the theme of the game pretty good … after you get used to it 😉 The Levels are branched and you visit them multiple times. And the gameplay has with all the skills, items & weapon-upgrades, your char learn throught the game, a great variety. Sometimes it’s not easy to see where to jump to and you get some unnecessary damage. You have a healing spell (need items) and unlimited continues. But beware, overall it’s a very difficult game!! You have to learn the levels and which ability/skill to use  -> not a game for a quicky, but to learn and get into it.

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And Cuck Rock I bought … I don’t know why, but it’s a good game for sure, so it’s ok to have it in the collection. I know it’s a popular game, but not a must have for me personal … and the cover has even water damage :/ … let’s move foreward …

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Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

I watched a let’s play of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver on YT and thought it’s a great game for my collection. I’m not a 24/7 gamer, so I cannot play everthing I’m interested in 😉 So if you watch a game like Soul Reaver on YT you don’t need to spend the time, effort or whatever  … you can relaxe, do your laundry or what you want on the side. And if the comment is good, it’s kind of gaming entertainment of a game I’m interested in, but I never had seen cause of lack of time. For me e.g. it has at the moment priority to invest the time I have for games into the old Tomb Raider games. The idea came btw while watching the Soul Reaver let’s play 😉

And yes, Soul Reaver seems to be really good game. The setting is cool, even all looks the same. It has not the visual variety like a Tomb Raider game has to offer (most) … all here in Soul Reaver is grey, brown-green darkish and looks over the whole game the same … gameplay looks cool so far … Soul Reaver was published by Crystal Dynamics, the current Tomb Raider developer (and owned by Square Enix meanwhile).

Link TailsGaming lets play Soul Reaver PC-version (sry german): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLv7-G0zFXx1i6E7dpWac_l-N00ILImYcT

OST: the Soul Reaver soundtrack fits the game very well. Beside the title song, the tracks are dark ambient to support the levels atmosphere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HfYVKJEGvoe

The Dreamcast version looks best (also better than PC-version) but generally it’s the same game.

Link Digital Foundry PSX/PC/DC versions of Soul Reaver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni13xjHvwu4

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PS Vita Downloads (US PSN-store)

Tomb Raider revisit time

… as I watched Soul Reaver I got more and more into the idea to play the old Tomb Raider games of the first generation … and started with the first installment of the TR series.

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So I downloaded TR I,II and IV onto my Playstation Vita (PS1 classics).

2015/16 I played TR Anniversary and it was a great remake of the first Tomb Raider game I really enjoyed. But no, this time I’m not in the mood for remakes. I really do want to play the originals. I like how Lara controls and feels in the old games. It maybe feels a bit stiff, clunky and sluggish for today standards, but the movement feels also very tight and firm. I really like that and how it feels.

And I downloaded some more:

  • Söldner X2 (Complete): a Shmup from a western developer. Normally I prefer Shmups from Japanese developers, but this one seems not bad at first sight. (Vita original)
  • Ultimate Ghosts’n Goblins: complete new and exclusive Ghosts’n Goblins game for the PSP. As PSP-download also available for your Vita!
  • Metal Slug X (PS1 classic): it’s Metal Slug 😉

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Frogger Mania

On my N-DS I played Frogger Helmet Chaos. I didn’t expected anything, but it is really fun to play, I want to recommend it to everyone who likes the Frogger IP. On the DS you can also get Frogger Toy Trail and on the 3DS Frogger 3D, but these two games I don’t like so much. I clearly recommend Helmet Chaos. But decide for yourself maybe you like the other Frogger games. Beside the story mode, there are in Helmet Chaos some Frogger-variants to reveal by doing progress in the story-mode. E.g., the original Frogger arcade game you can select from the beginning on. That’s a really neat little thing to be able to play also the original game on your DS … but if you want the real experience, I recommend the Genesis version.

From its gameplay Frogger Helmet Chaos is similar to Frogger 2: Swampys Revenge (PSX/DC). So you jump through levels froggerstyle, which means: jumping from square to square in all four directions to investigate the levels and find your way though it, with puzzle solving elements. And that’s a modernized Frogger gameplay-concept I really like!

FroggerMania s

And I discovered the interesting release on the Genesis. 1998, I think it is the last or one of the last official released game(s) on SEGAs 16-bit system in North-America and in general, an original retro port release 1998 of an arcade machine from 1981. 1998, the year when the Saturns lifespan came to an end and the Dreamcast was born in Japan?? Yes, cause of the successful Genesis in the US-market, there seemed to be even 1998 a market for a retro release in its purest meaning. It looks, sounds and plays perfectly. If you want the original Frogger experience, the Genesis port is a perfect version to go!

Cheers & happy frogs! 😀

 

PS4Pro – Zia&tGoM – GnG – DOA5LR – SST – Ride2

Now I have also the massive “triplebrick” in the house … thx to the Sony/Gamestop offer to change my PS4 + 2 old games and 99,-€ to receive a shiny Playstation 4 Pro. I really don’t know if I need a Pro really, I’m not interested in VR or 4K.  But now I feel save for the next 5 years to get the best possible version of a game for the system … it was an offer I couldn’d reject to upgrade for 99 bugs!!!

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Awesome … and so the Scorpio aka XBox One X is dead … at least for me. I think the next Playstation generation will last around 5 years to come and in the upcoming years, I think that some games will look and run on the Pro better than on the standard PS4. Sony tries to prevent this in 1st party titles at the moment, as you can see in comparisons of GT Sports at Digital Foundry.

But the Scorpio/One X will I think increase the pressure to bring visual strong games on the PS4 Pro, don’t to loose market share and image against the XBox One X … at least in the US market. The first impression of MS new powerful console on E3 was poor … XBox One X has no games! But this can change. And for multiplattform titles like Kingdom Come Deliverance and other third party IPs we’ll see if the PS4 Pro can keep up with the One X ports.

I made my bed with the PS4 Pro for the next 5 years, but I’m really courisous about One X, how the machine will handle serious AAA titles, especially PC ports.

Ride 2

I’m surprisingly disappointed with Ride 2 … and that’s really surprisingly, cause I loved the first Ride game!1 Here you can read the article I wrote back then:

https://xanafalgue.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/ride-gamplay-over-eyecandy-word1/

Mainly its cause of the handling at the grip-limit. No more powerslides, no black rubber on track like in part one. Yes in some situation you can do it with strong bikes, but its no more part of the general gameplay like it was in Ride 1. To drive a bike in Ride 2 at the grip-limit is now much narrower … wether you’ve got grip or your bike goes down … more or less. Maybe it is now more realistic, but it was so much more exiting to drive in the first Ride game. Simply much more spectacular driving … and that was fun!1

The unbalanced difficulty is still there, but better then in the first game -> if you choose a bike or tune it near max PP.

Other critics for Ride 2:

  • you have to drive to many small bike classes at the beginning = superboring.
  • the loading times have reduces in Ride 2 … but there are now more seperated of them :/ Still to much loading.
  • still lack of lightning and shadows on tracks and enviroment.
  • the engine of your bike is too silent in comparison to the CPU bikes and sound very often weak, that was in Ride 1 better. And your engine audio and the CPU bikes are not seperate adjustable in the audio settings, only engine sounds in general.

The graphic is much improved, at least the new tracks. The old tracks are not completely redone, but improved in detail. But the most look better too.

At all, Ride 1 gave me with its more spectacular driving so much more fun, despite of the unpolished issues the game had … but Ride 2 removed the major fun factor of the game, what a shame!!

I will play it anyway, but its so sad. As much fun I had with Ride 1, I cannot recommend Ride 2.

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How to drive Dirt Rally –> don’t let’s attack (too) aggressively!1

At first Dirt Rally was frustrating for me. Used to have a rewind functions in WRC style rally games of the last years, I was used to attack the grid seriously.

But Dirt Rally goes back to the roots. So any rewind function has been canceled … and I was frustrated first, after many wreckage issues on track.

But then I learned it: “don’t let’s attack (too) aggressively!”

This is imo the key to get access to the game and avoid the frustration part! The no rewind policy forces you to a different driving style compared to the rally games you played the last years  (rewind time age!) … If you don’t adapt these rules according to your driving style, the game has (imo) a big frustration potential.

And yes you could train each stage in shakedowns before, but to be honest … who is doing this??? I like to go direct into the stage. Rock on … no blablabla (aka training) …

But to come in terms with … you have to accept a more passive driving style compared to your previous WRC-style games … the no rewind function impose on you.

But after a while I realized how much fun it is. Codemasters made it well ballanced … the timetargets for the stages are very balanced done. First place is challenging, second place good to achieve and third place easy to reach. And even if you don’t reach second or third place in a certain stage, in the final settlement p3 is easy to reach. So the frustration part which I had expected has gone away cause of the balanced game targets in rally chamionship mode … I’m now more than happy with the game! E.g. accept minor accidents, shit happens -> live with it!1 … Or even 15 sec. penalties -> continue on, restart as less as possible … that’s how the game is ment to be.

Please note: avoid at the beginning rear wheel driven cars, they are really difficult to drive in Dirt Rally (played till now BMW E30 & Ford Escord, other RWDs are maybe a bit easier to handle, but these two are not easy to handle for beginners). Best to start with front or 4WD cars.

If you want have fun with this game, find your personal pace between security and speed. And don’t care penalties or non perfect runs -> continue on! This is how the game works and longer gaming sessions keepin’ frustfree!

But remember always: Dirt Rally is NOT a Konami game! So “don’t let’s attack (too) aggressively!” xD

If you hear the engine “bubble”, I’m off-throttle! A bit of a kind of passive driving style is here imo the key to have fun and success … with an aggressive part inbetween 🙂

Dirt Rally Greece – Subaru Impreza – Group A-Championship – long stage full

Dirt Rally Monte Carlo – Subaru Impreza – Group A-Championship – long stage full

As you can see, with that driving style you can be successfull in Dirt Rally & avoid the frustration part in one thing … and get so step by step faster from championship to championship! So don’t care if you place in a single stage 5th place or so. Over a complete round/event, 2. or 3. place is still good to reach. As mentioned before … the game targets are summed up at the end of each event/round and is overall set fair. In which order you want to drive the championships you can choose freely. “Group A Championship” is 6th, but was my third championship I drove. And the more championships you drive, the more you will learn the driving and recognize the repeating stages. Which will help to increase your pace and the aggressive part while driving in later championships without losing your savety.

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Let’s do some random cover picporn vol. 2!

It’s time for another random cover picporn. If you want see the first part, click link below and scroll down the rubbish ‘my hardwareretrospective’ stuff to see the first part of the my cover scan project.

https://xanafalgue.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/hardwarepix-welcome-to-the-nerdstuff/

Let’s do some random cover picporn part 2:

1a RPG Lost Odyssey a (1)

1a RPG Lost Odyssey a (2)

1b Shooter Galactic Attack aka Layersection aka Raystorm a (1)

1b Shooter Galactic Attack aka Layersection aka Raystorm a (2)

1bb Strat Stronghold a (1)

1bb Strat Stronghold a (2)

1C Shooter Deathsmiles a (1)

1C Shooter Deathsmiles a (2)

1C Shooter Deathsmiles a (3)

1D Adv ResidentEvil2 a (1)

1D Adv ResidentEvil2 a (2)

1db RPG Dragon Age Origins a (1)

1db RPG Dragon Age Origins a (2)

Nights and DD et_sun

1dc RPG Dungeons&Dragons Warriors a! (2)

1e Arcade Racing Micro Machines 2 a (1)

1e Arcade Racing Micro Machines 2 a (2)

1eaa Street racing GT2 a (1)

1eaa Street racing GT2 a (2)

1eb RPG Pier Solar a (1)

1eb RPG Pier Solar a (2)

RPG ShiningForce 1 a

RPG ShiningForce 1 bc

RPG ShiningForce 2 a

RPG ShiningForce 2 b

1eba Castlevnia SotN DraculaX jp a (1)

1eba Castlevnia SotN DraculaX jp a (2)

1F beat em up Soul Calibur 4 a (1)

1F beat em up Soul Calibur 4 a (2)

1fb Track Racing GT24 (1)

1fb Track Racing GT24 (2)

1g Street Racing Forza 3 a (1)

1g Street Racing Forza 3 a (2)

1h Shooter Darius Gaiden a (1)

1h Shooter Darius Gaiden a (2)

1i Adv EccoTheDolphin DC big

1j 3D Action Rebel Assault a (1)

1j 3D Action Rebel Assault a (2)

1ja RPG PhantasyStar Gen a (1)

1ja RPG PhantasyStar Gen a (2)

1ja RPG PhantasyStar Gen a (3)

1ja RPG PhantasyStar Gen a (4)

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1jb Beat em up VirtuaFighter 1Remix

1jc Beat em up StreetFighter Zero 2 a (1)

1jc Beat em up StreetFighter Zero 2 a (2)

1jcc RPG Luminous 1 a (1)

1jcc RPG Luminous 1 a (2)

1jcd Street Racing PGR0 MSR a (1)

1jcd Street Racing PGR0 MSR a (2)

1k Arcade DaytonaUSA Circuit Edition

1l Arcade Ridge Racer 6 a (1)

1l Arcade Ridge Racer 6 a (2)

1m 2D Shooter Elemental Master (1)

1m 2D Shooter Elemental Master (2)

1ma 2D Shooter Raiden Trad a 1991 (1)

1ma 2D Shooter Raiden Trad a 1991 (2)

1n FPS3Person GoW 1 (1)

1n FPS3Person GoW 1 (2)

1o Gun FREE ThirdPers ResidentEvil4 Wii Edition a (1)

1o Gun FREE ThirdPers ResidentEvil4 Wii Edition a (2)

1obb RPG SkiesOfArcadia DisksBoxManual (1)

1obb RPG SkiesOfArcadia DisksBoxManual (2)

1oc F1 BeyondTheLimit a (1)

1oc F1 BeyondTheLimit a (2)

1z (1)

MS FlightSim 2002

1z (3)

1z (4)

1z (5)

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1z (8)