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HandheldMANIA & RayMANIA

My first Handheld was the Game Gear I really loved back then. But after the GG, stationary gaming via consoles and PCs was the way to come for the next 1 ½ decades. Only in the year 2007 I owned the next Handheld system. The Nintendo DS-Lite.

Using it aside with PC and Xbox 360 it was a nice and unique addition. It was unique cause of two reasons. The double Screen with fold mechanic … a superpractical feature if you ask me … and, most impressive for the time: touch controles (via stylus). Today a common feature, was this 2007 in products for the mass market nearly non existent.

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The double screen feature Nintendo presented the first time with a GBA upgrade version called GBA SP. It worked so well, the took the design for their entire next Handheld generation. The Nintendo Double Screen (NDS).

The NDS was performancewise a weak system indeed (technically), even at launch window. The PSP showed what a Handheld could handle in power and outperformed the NDS by miles. Even back than, most games on the NDS had visually a strong RETRO vibe, cause of their outdated technique. So most NDS games came in form of bitmap-graphics or poor 3D assets, looking mostly even weaker than PSX polygon games.

Dispite of that, the NDS was a very attractive system and comercially successfull for many rasons:

  • it simply gave us a fresh gaming experience with great working stylus touch gameplay! This is what the NDS offered, but the PSP didn‘t. I really still like to use the touch controles via stylus. It feels good … and the reason why it still feels good is the top notch quality of the whole item, but touch funciton with the stylus too.
  • In contrast to the graphics, the sound was modern for a mobile device for its time.
  • Despite of the technical poor visual power of the system, bitmape based games looked beautiful. And by 2019 standards it is imo still a dream for friends of retro gamers.
  • I love the sturdy build of the item. In material and finishing the DS-Lite This is really a quality item! Something that adds for me personally a joy factor while playing. You simply feel it in your hands.

Beside that, the fold-up design is something I really love. Mainly for two reasons:

  1. If something/-one interrupts you while gaming – you simply close/fold-up you DS in a second, the game pauses automaticly and you can put it on the side instantly. … If you want to proceed simply unfold the DS in no time and the game is continuing instantly. Nor recovery or loading time. Instandtly! This is such a perfect feature in daily situations.
  2. Most Handhelds have imo a very bad ergonomy. The handling is without a grip more a pain than a joy (never mind if GBC, GBA, PSP or Vita). But with the upper screen opened (and fixed) with an proper angle, it creates a so much better/convenient handling out of the box. I need no grip here.

2011 I bought a PS Vita and so If I played an Handheld system the last years, the Vita was the show. But lately I rediscovered the DS-Lite and I realized what a timeless system the NDS for me is.

NDS Lite R4 Skyrim backround

It combines perfect mobile and retro gaming, it combines perfect casual and serious gaming … and the item itself I simply really do like it a lot!

NDS games are at the moment really cheap to have, so I think it‘s a very good time for collecting them. I play the games btw. in form of ROMs with my R4 card on my NDS (see pic above) … so after a short function test, I put the games into the collectors cabinet. It‘s pure collecting and I‘m to lazy to change cardridges 😉

DS Lite Tomb Raider Legend DS

Fist I played Tromb Raider Legends DS. A couple of years ago I played TR Underworld DS; and Legends is the same type of game. 2.5 D sidescrolling mini action-adventure. Legends is a short game and very easy … but I can`t help liking it. No it‘s not a good game, for sure not, but it‘s good for in between, for short gaming session (10-30 min), I like to jumb around with Lara, the action shootouts are easy and gameplaywise poor, but I like to hammer my stylus on the foes, I like to see the story-movies from the big Legend (PS360) on the DS, and I like the music. I give it only a 5.5/10 … I apoligize, but I like to play it despite of that. Underworld DS is long ago, but iirc it was even a bit worse. But I’m not sure. And hey, maybe I will play it again … I mean … it‘s Tomb Raider and I like Legends DS … I really don‘t know why, but it is what it is. Maybe I‘m simply a Tomb Raider nerd ^^

FroggerManiabb

For a longer time I played already Frogger Helmet Chaos, back then the ROM on R4 cardridge for my NDS-Lite. I like it so much, I‘m not only playing it once again, I purchased the original for my collection. 8.5/10

I‘m a big fan of The Settlers 2&3 (PC). Back then I didn‘t buy the DS Settlers game cause of the medioca ratings in the magazines back then. Now for 6€ I bought it and I like it … I think 😛 … even it is clunky to controle the core gameplay has a pure The Settlers 2 vibe, the visuals too! I’ve played around 30% of the Rome campaign, not sure what to think about (jerky/clumsy controles/scrolling) and what ranking I would give Die Siedler/The Settlers DS -> when I’m doing a PC IPs on NDS special.

DS Lite Settler Sieder NDS (2)DS LIte Die Sieder The Settlers DS Pic

But this brought somenthing in motion. I realized that many PC IPs got their very own game/version for the NDS. I was really surprised to see all this PC IPs on Nintendos Handheld. The Setterls, two Anno games (New World & 1701), Die Gilde/The Guild, Age of Empire, Civilizations, Populous and more! I was totally fascinated and the NDS collector activities began ^^

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Beside The Settlers I startet also Anno: Create a New World wich is gameplaywise much smarter converted onto the NDS and the stylus controls. Plus it runs buttersmooth, while the Settlers scrolls from square to square. But for these PC IP‘s on NDS I will hopefully write some seperate articels to feature the games in detail. I love the PC IPs on NDS topic!!

At the moment I play also Prof. Layton and the Curious Village – the game needs no introduction, it was commercially incredible successful and got a lot of successors. Puzzlegaming framed by an adventure. A must for puzzlefriends! Very charmy presented.

Super Monkey Ball: I‘m not the biggest Monkey Ball fan, but it‘s a neat skill game … yea … I will proceed it from time to time a bit. But I’m not the target audience it seems …

A skill/puzzle game I really do like is Bust a Move DS. The games uses the touchpad/stylus of the DS to create a slingshot mechanic. It is precice and really a lot of fun! Highly recommended for friends of Tetris, PyoPyo, Columns … and of course the classic Bust a Move games. With the slingshot mechanic, the game feels kind of fresh for me.

Made a quick shot, don’t care the score 😉 I simply wanted to show a pic to visualize the slingshot mechanic on the NDS.

DS Lite Bust a Move

 

The Nintendo NEW 3DS XL

Therefore I like the fold-up mechanic so much on the NDS, as written above, it came more and more in my mind to add an Nintendo 3DS to my hardware library.

Since two weeks now I have a 3DS. I realized that the PC IPs on NDS phenomen was a one hit handheldwonder. On Nintendos Handheld successor, the 3DS, not one game of this kind appeared. But that‘s o.k., there are enough for years on the NDS for me to explore. And I realized that the 3DS is region locked. Cause NDS and Vita are region-free I had this issue completely not on my radar … and it is really very sad that Nintendo put this bug into the machine :(( So no japan or US exclusives are running on my 3DS device!

But there are for sure some Pal/Euro games out there for my new sweet N3DS. So I will find enough games for the system … but the region lock is a downer for the system for sure!

Luckily I catched a near mint New 3DS XL for 115 €. And I‘m very lucky about, cause I realized how rare this items has become in comparison to the demand the system still get. For the start I have only two games for it … nearly …

… cause the first is a collection. The SEGA 3D classics. On this collection there are 9 classic SEGA games on it (Galaxy Force II, Power Drift, Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Zone II, Thunder Blade, PuyoPuyo and Altered Beast + bonusgames: Phantasy Zone II new and Maze Walker) . I highly recommend this collection, especially for everyone who wants to experience the 3D capabilities of the 3DS.

So far I played some:

  • the whole collection is made by M2. And Sonic the Hedgehog is a dream on the system. It looks and runs beautifully …and M2 added the dash move from the later 2D Sonic games. This version is a dream! I really love the Mega Drive original, an all time classic 4ever on original hardware! But M2 did a brillant job here. For me the defenitive version of the game ever made. The 3D mode here is imho obsolete, but it is so perfect in standard (2D) mode.
  • Powerdrift and Galaxy Force II on the other hand is literally made for the 3D capabilities of the 3DS. Both are arcade machines from the mid to late 80‘s (GFII with slight enhancements). But they still look gorgeous in 3D and therefore the games are from the arcade they are perfect for a quick play. They nail the 3D experience of the 3DS. Really absolutely great 3D arcade experience! Highly recommended!!

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RayMANIA

I missed the Rayman games completely in the past. So I bought a couple of Rayman games for several systems. Ok the Saturn Rayman is an empty box I got for 5€ … maybe I’ll find a single disk later 😉

But especially Rayman 2 was a game I wanted always to get into.  And additionally, as you can see on this post, I prefer at the moment Handheld gaming over the stationary experience.

Luckily Rayman 2 is available on the 3DS (simply called Rayman 3D). And it is even a port of the Dreamcast original! After I wached the Game vs. Game episode I was sure the port is well done. So I found my first game, beside the SEGA 3D Collection, I will play on my New 3DS XL.

The game looks in 3D mode great btw on the 3DS! Even if the 3D is set on a lower level, the view in depth works really very nice! I play Rayman 3D in both modes, in 2D and 3D. Even if I play the game most in 2D, I really don’t wanted to miss the 3D mode. This is something special I really love to have in the machine!1 Before buying the 3DS, I shortly thought about an 2DS XL. I’m happy I did not, The 3D effect of the 3DS makes the item really something special!

Here’s the Rayman 2 episode of Game vs. Game. It’s worth a look if you’re interesed in the game!

 

 

Have fun!

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Let’s do some random cover picporn vol. 5

This time sci-fi related … engage 🙂

If you wanna look at older parts, click the following links: cover picporn vol 4cover picporn vol 3  — cover picporn vol 2cover picporn vol 1 (scroll down the rubbish ‘my hardwareretrospective’ stuff in vol 1 to see the cover scans)

1 Shadow Run a1 Shadow Run b2 Flashback a2 Flashback b3 KOTOR a3 KOTOR b4 SW 32X a4 SW 32X b5 Leyer Section a5 Leyer Section b5 Leyer Section c6 Leyer Section 2 a6 Leyer Section 2 b7a Alien 3 MD a7a Alien 3 MD b7b Alien 3 SNES7c Alien Trilogy Sat a7c Alien Trilogy Sat b7d Alien Investation DS a7d Alien Investation DS b7e Alien Isolation 360 a7e Alien Isolation 360 b

8a Soukyuugurentai Saturn a romanji8a Soukyuugurentai Saturn b8b Radiant Silvergun Saturn a8b Radiant Silvergun Saturn b8c Thunder Force II MD a8c Thunder Force II MD b8d Star Treck Genesis MD a8d Star Treck Genesis MD b8e Star Treck Bridge 32X a8e Star Treck Bridge 32X b8f WipeOut Saturn a8f WipeOut Saturn b8g WipeOut 2097 Saturn a8g WipeOut 2097 Saturn b8h WipeOut PS4 a8h WipeOut PS4 b8k Deep Fighter Dreamcast a8k Deep Fighter Dreamcast b8k Soul Star SEGA CD a8k Soul Star SEGA CD b8k Star Lancer Dreamcast a8k Star Lancer Dreamcast b8i Bug Roger Genesis MD a8i Bug Roger Genesis MD b8j Zendor Saturn a8j Zendor Saturn b8l Aleste SNES8l Macross Scambled Valkyrie SNES Kopie9a Phantasy Star Master System a9a Phantasy Star Master System b9b Phantasy Star II Mega Drive Genesis a9b Phantasy Star II Mega Drive Genesis b9c Phantasy Star III Mega Drive Genesis a9c Phantasy Star III Mega Drive Genesis b9d Phantasy Star IV Mega Drive Genesis a9d Phantasy Star IV Mega Drive Genesis b9e OutRun 2019 Mega Drive Genesis a9e OutRun 2019 Mega Drive Genesis b9f FZero SNES9g MagForce Dreamcast a9g MagForce Dreamcast b9g Star Wars Racer Dreamcast a9g Star Wars Racer Dreamcast b9h Galaxy Force Saturn a9h Galaxy Force Saturn b9j Wing Commander SEGA CD a9j Wing Commander SEGA CD b9j Wing Commander SEGA CD c9k Wing Commander III PC a9k Wing Commander III PC b9k xBurning Rangers a9k xBurning Rangers b9k zGunGriffon Saturn a9k zGunGriffon Saturn bNext both games are still sealed, so coverart only for those two.

9l Star Ocean LH 360 and Shadow Squadron 32X a9l Star Ocean LH 360 and Shadow Squadron 32X b9l VCS9m Star Wars Game Gear NESport and Return Jedi9n Star Wars 1 SNES9o Rise of the Dragon SEGA CD a (1)9o Rise of the Dragon SEGA CD a (2)9p Enemy Zero Saturn a9p Enemy Zero Saturn c9q Nomad Soul Dreamcast a9q Nomad Soul Dreamcast b9r Dune I SEGA CD a9r Dune I SEGA CD b9r Dune II 2 SEGA Mega Drive a9r Dune II 2 SEGA Mega Drive b9s Herzog II 2 SEGA Mega Drive a9s Herzog II 2 SEGA Mega Drive b

Collection cleanup

While PS360 gen I (re)collected many games, especially SEGA stuff. But also some games I bought for bargain reasons while on the hunt. It was more kind of a colateral damage of the main collecting activities ^^ Expecially some XBox and X360 games I toss now out. Good games for sure, but I have never played them and never will. Or like HotD3 I played on Wii and Duck Tales I have on PC. So I hope these games will find some new lucky owners and a good place in another collection 🙂

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Plus Tetris Vita I forgot and bought for bargain. But who the hell needs a Tretris on Vita??! ^^

Shenmue 2 – DUCK RACE easy guide/walkthrough

I made an easy guide to unlock the secret duck race in Shenmue II – enjoy 🙂

Game: Shenmue II Remaster/HD – System: PS4Pro

TES Anthology UNBOXING video

Unboxing The Elder Scrolls Anthology for PC. Contains TES Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim in physical format. All DLCs included.

Mea culpa, Skyrim was of course released 2011! But I bought it 2013, this is why I had the date in mind. And sry for the weak audio :/

Shadow of the Tomb Raider ShowOff ShortCut

Finished a while ago my Shadow of the Tomb Raider ShowOff ShortCut Project, I started before the Shenmue ShowOff ShortCut and finished shortly after. Maybe you want to have a look and enjoy.

Here starting with part 1 ( of 7 total):

Gaming Laptop MSI GE73 8RE-011DE RAIDER BK 17-8750H + some games

Gaming Laptop GE73 8RE-011DE RAIDER BK 17-8750H Xanafalgue 2019

With the MSI Gaming Laptop I start now into my 4th PC phase. Primarily I did not buy it for gaming, but to play around with the Unreal 4 engine. Just for fun, I have a target, but don’t know how realistic it is to reach by my own. But I simply want to play a bit around with the engine. This, and to run console & arcade emulations of any kind is the main reason why I bought the machine.

At first I was looking for a less sophisticated machine to be honest, at least able to run the UE4 engine in decent quality. But then my requirements grew and in the store where I saw the MSI gaming laptop the salesman offered me a massive pricedrop (400€ under listprice!1 + Lootbox). I simply had to do it.  Additonal I received the MSI lootbox for free with an gaming MSI Headphone, a MSI bag and the MSI mascott in form of a dragon teddy. What a day … Im happy 🙂

Gaming Laptop GE73 8RE-011DE RAIDER BK 17-8750H Xanafalgue 2019 (1)

… and … the last bunch of PS4 games ever??

PS4 gaames Xanafalgue

DL Vita: Darkstalkers 3, Tomb Raider 3, SimCity 2000

Bye bye PS4 ^^

Edit: in anticipation of the upcoming release of the The Settlers reboot I couldn’t resist to replace my jewel case only versions of The Settlers II and III + Secret of the Amazons with the real deal BigBoxes!°1

Sieder Settler 2 3 PC BigBox