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Monday, January 30, 2012


Ding! Ding! Ding!
I say, what's that signal? (There's a signal now...?) It must be time for the...

Let's see what was happening in the world of gaming when I was about to start Year 10 in high school.
(I am so old...) *sob*

Remember, Blogspot won't let you view large pictures in their full resolution, so if the writing looks too small, save the file to your computer first, or view the picture outside of the Blogspot viewer.

Oh boy... Virtual Boy, that is... This was the official unveiling at the Shoshinkai Show in Japan. And it sounds like the thing was pretty much doomed as soon as it was shown. What the hell were Nintendo thinking? Seriously? I mean, they were looking into new technologies, that's awesome. But this should never have got out of the design phase. Having said that, I'd still love to own one for collectors' sake! ^_^

Sugoi desu ne!! ^_^
(These are probably selling for thousands on eBay now...)

Ooh! Miyamoto-san's working on a Nintendo64 game that's like Pilotwings!
(Eh... that'd be Pilotwings 64, genius...)
I really enjoyed that game back in the day, but I'm a bit scared to play it now, for fear that it might not be anywhere near as good as I remember it...

The PAL N64 was certainly better than the Super NES in terms of ugly black borders, but it still wasn't perfect. I played FF6 through a convertor on my Super NES back in the day. (Well, it was FFIII, but you get the idea) and yeah, there were a few issues. I still managed to get through the whole thing though. I remember sometimes the menu would be all black and some things couldn't be seen. The worst part though was the opera. Because that scene is actually TIMED, and the game is running 17% SLOWER, it would kinda crash when the timecodes didn't match up. I did get through it, but I had to have lightning-fast fingers to choose what Celes had to sing.
Playing games through convertors was obviously far less than ideal, but hey - we wouldn't HAVE to do that if the games just got released here in the first place!!

A quick report on Shoshinkai and how Nintendo ballsed up the Virtual Boy reveal by having a product that nobody liked. Oh well, at least the Japanese public were starting to get pumped for Chrono Trigger. (Only a few more weeks until I get to play it again!) :-)

OK, this is a bit of a WTF moment right here...
So Sega had a hit with Virtua Fighter. So Argonaut thought they could replicate its success with the Super FX chip...? When the Saturn and PlayStation were already out in Japan...? I guess it's not surprising that this game never got released. It would have surely been awful.

So there you have it. New episode hopefully up in a day or two, but work goes back tomorrow (eurgh!!) so things might start slowing down a bit...


Another quickie! But first, I was very excited to see this the other day...

9000 hits! (and more now!) Makes it all seem worthwhile. I hope people are enjoying my trip down memory lane, and get inspired to play the oldies again themselves. Here's Ristar and Mickey 2.

I only bought Mickey Mouse a couple of months ago, brand new off eBay. Wasn't even that expensive.

Last night I started putting the videos up on GameTrailers, but

The end of the Year of Retro Gaming is now in clear sight! Only 14 "weeks" to go. Man, there's a whole lotta epic role-playing in there though! Full steam ahead!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Hooray for quick games!

That was super-quick, and the next episode should be up in the next couple of days as well.

I'm determined to get through these games as quickly as humanly possible. Besides the fact I was hoping to have played them all a month ago, I am heading overseas in April and COME RAIN, HAIL OR SHINE, I WILL HAVE THIS PROJECT DONE BY THEN!! Looking ahead at the list (check upper-right from here) there are a LOT of big time-sucking R.P.G.s ahead, so it's all guns blazing from now on!

Friday, January 27, 2012


(Hehehe... see what I did there...?)
Here is the FINAL Final Fantsy for the year. Game be epic, yo. Took ages, but here it is.

Also, I found a fan-made anime of Final Fantasy VI on YouTube. It's surprisingly high-quality for something completely unofficial. Just goes to show how much people love these characters and story.

Anyway, I guess it goes without saying...

I'm always changing my mind about what my favourite Final Fantasy game is. It's definitely gotta be between FF6, FF8 and FF9.
FF7 started off amazing but went crap in the second half.
FF10 traded good characters and plot for voice acting. That, and it started the whole "run-in-a-straight-line-to-the-finish" mentality.
FF11 and FF14 are different beasts entirely. FF11 sucked 4 years out of my life though...
FF12 was amazing, but hardly felt like a Final Fantasy game at all.
And FF13... Well, the graphics are nice...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I (finally!) finished FFVI tonight. Epic game, it's taken a while. With the full impressions coming up in the next few days then, I thought I'd take a moment to talk a bit about the main characters. The massive 14-piece party in FFVI has some of the series' all time best characters, and some of the dumbest and most one-dimensional. Just thought I'd give my impressions on each one here, since I probably won't have time to go so in-depth when I put the video together...

Not so much the main character (this game doesn't really have a single main character) but the central catalyst for the game's plot. She has a really great story arc, starting off as an amnesic girl who can't decide where her allegiances lie. She was being used as a weapon by the Empire, and yet the Returners were nice to her. Then, after the world is destroyed, she finds a real life's purpose: helping out the kids of Mobliz, being their "mother." In battle she's pretty darn awesome too. Not only is she a natural mage, but she's physically strong as well.

The token loveable thief. He starts out being the cheeky, outspoken rogue, but you soon figure out that he's got some demons in his closet. He is attracted to Terra, but Celes reminds him a lot of Rachel, his long-lost love. Poor Locke. Conflicted by all the beautiful females in his life. What an unfortunate situation to be in...
In battle he's got the "Steal" ability which is always good.

Who wouldn't love a moogle? Mog's tho tute! Unfortunately, he really doesn't have much personality and comes across as a mere "token" character. His battle abilities are certainly interesting to experiment with: he's essentially a Geomancer, by FFV reckoning. He casts spells based on environments. Collecting all of his dances can be a bit of a pain, but some of them are pretty powerful. It's a shame you don't have any control over him once he starts dancing. I don't find myself using him much.

The King of Figaro! A king who loves to tinker with machinery and has a reputation for loving more than a few women in his time. When I think of Edgar I mainly think of his relationship with his brother Sabin. The optional "coin toss" scene is pretty great FF drama. Edgar is one of the most powerful characters to have in battle (especially in the first half of the game) due to his super-powerful tools. Drill, Flash and Chainsaw (when it works) overpower almost anything else in the World of Balance. I use him a lot.

The "other" Prince of Figaro, who could have been king, had he not run away from his responsibilities. Sabin's the token muscle-head and he gets some cool scenes to act out. I suppose if Sabin was given a traditional Final Fantasy job, he would be a Monk. But he doesn't play at all like the Monks in FFIII or FFV. Using his "Blitz" moves becomes second-nature once you memorise the combos of some of the best moves. He's a pain if you can't remember what buttons to press though.

Token ninja. Shadow is just too cool. He speaks rarely, has a killer dog that follows him around and if you rescue him from the falling island, you have the chance to see into his dreams and relive his backstory as a thief called Clyde. He's got the Throw ability in battle as any good ninja should, which is a cool thing to have, provided you stock up on enough items. He also has a really cool theme song.

The well-spoken royal knight of Doma. It's a shame that the original translation had his method of speech working so inconsistantly. He has a few decent scenes, mainly dealing with the death of his entire kingdom at the hands of Kefka, including his wife and son who he sees leaving on the Phantom Train. Having said that, he's not very crucial to the main plot. He just kind of tags along for lack of anything better to do. Some of his battle abilities are quite powerful, but who could be bothered waiting long enough to charge them up? I never use him much.

Wild boy. Berserker. Whatever. Apart from a strange scene with his father in the second half of the game, Gau doesn't really affect the story at all. He's a bit of a nothing-character. As for battle, he's kind of a blue-mage, I guess, in that he takes the abilities of enemies. But I always found getting them a royal pain. Not to mention that once he starts mimicking said enemy, you lose all control over him. I'll be honest, in all the times I've played through FFVI, I've never once put in the effort to use Gau. He could be really powerful for all I know, but he just seems annoying to me.

Has one of the most tumultuous emotional plots in the game. Starts of as a chief general standing by the evil Emperor Gestahl's side, but when she begins to question his methods, he has her locked away and beaten. She secretly falls in love with Locke, but feels betrayed by him when he begins to doubt her allegiance. Her role is that of the one who knows how the enemy is working. Then after the world is destroyed, she becomes the lead character, regrouping the companions together again. Great character. In battle she's okay. She's strong physically and magically, but I always found her Runic ability kind of useless.

The super-suave gambler man with an airship. He's worked pretty well into the plot and has a tragic backstory to explore in the second half of the game. He's a fairly one-dimensional character though, and in battle his Slot ability is just too unpredictable, and the potential results are pretty crappy.

Dotty old man and loving grandfather. Doesn't have a great deal of plot to speak of. He loves his granddaughter, that's about all that he's about. Meanwhile, he's a genuine Blue Mage. (as opposed to Gau)  He sees enemies casting spells and learns to cast them himself. Can be useful, but as with all Blue Mages, you've got to put in a lot of effort collecting all the spells to make him useful enough.

Strago's cute little granddaughter. She's an artist, apparently. And (SPOILERS!!) she's Shadow's daughter. She basically tags along with the group, offering little plot points here and there. She's pretty unnecessary though. Her Sketch ability in battle has the potential to be pretty awesome, but it also might be crap. You're limited by the enemy that you happen to be fighting at the time, which is why I never really use her much.

Living in a cave for who-knows-how-long. I think Gogo has perhaps only one scene of dialogue for the entire game? He/she/it doesn't affect the story at all, it's just a cool character to have in battle to copy all of the most powerful attacks.

Umaro doesn't talk. He doesn't really enter into the plot at all. He just follows Mog like a puppy if you find him towards the end of the game. He's super-strong, being a sasquach and all, but you have no control over his actions at all in battle. To that end, he is a true Berserker.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Man, as I'm replaying it, I'm remembering that Final Fantasy VI has one of gaming's all-time greatest soundtracks. Check out this guy's work. Incredible!!

Monday, January 16, 2012


I'm actually doing something a bit different at the moment: I'm playing 2 weeks' worth of games at the same time. That means I'm taking occasional breaks from Final Fantasy VI to play Super Adventure Island II and Comix Zone. I wonder which will be finished first?

Anyway. In the meantime, here's the...
... for Issue #26.

I seem to remember hearing something like this at the time: that because Donkey Kong Country was made in the PAL regions, we got it before anyone else. Very cool and very novelty!

That artist's impression picture is actually fairly accurate, isn't it? What WERE they thinking...?

How funny is it to think that Doom64 might have been one of the most anticipated games for the system's launch?  And yeah, any thoughts that the home console would run better than the arcade machines... that's just laughable. Look at Killer Instinct 2 for proof.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Wow, has it really been 50 episodes now? I suppose it has.

Hope you like the little "tribute" at the end. Click here to listen to the full version of the music over at OverClocked ReMix. It is, of course "The Moon" music from DuckTales. Here's this week's games...

SO. Now that the N.E.S. is put to bed for the year, did you recognise all of those games? There are two games in the video that I didn't play this year. Do you reckon there are any others that I missed out on? Let me know, and I might try and have a "catch up" at the end. No promises though, I've still got a lot to play through!

If you'd like a laugh, here's what the Angry Video Game Nerd thought of the 32X...

Friday, January 13, 2012


Hi again. I've been working on something a bit special for the 50th episode tonight. Pretty excited about it.
But for now...

Let's see what was going down towards the end of 1994...

Remember, some of these pictures are large, so you'll probably need to click them and find a way to view them yourself. ("Save As" would work)

This is hilarious. I'm pretty sure in 1994 I wouldn't have had a clue what a modem even was. Online games get lag in this day and age. Imagine playing a fighting game against someone back in 1994, probably on a 14.4k modem! Still, good on them for being forward-thinking.

I'm intregued by this Sound Fantasy thing. It was never released, and there aren't even any "smuggled out of Nintendo" copies circulating around the internet. Miyamoto himself was heavily involved in this. Why did Nintendo pull the plug? It sure looks more entertaining than Wii Music!

The reader-voted annual awards. Some interesting results there!

I was a forward-thinker. No idea why. But I waited until Super SF2 came along before I purchased my copy. Until then I just made do with rentals from the video store. I wasn't bothered that it wasn't the upgraded "Turbo" version from the arcades. All that I was concerned about was that Cammy's butt shot hadn't been censored out!

A two-pager, this one. The first official reveal of Chrono Trigger! And, not surprisingly, a lot of people looked at the character designs and wondered if it was the sequel to Secret of Mana. This got even more confusing when Secret of Evermore was unveiled shortly after!

Another "first look," and this time it's Mega Man X 2. I have no idea what possessed Capcom to pursue that whole wire-frame DSP chip thing. You could hardly say it really enhanced the MMX games' graphics or made them look better.

Well, there you have it. New ep should probably be up in a few days. Episode 50! Look forward to it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Hey all. Here's the next Academy-Award-Nominated episode of the Year(s) of Retro Gaming:

Did you ever play any of these games in 1994? Or perhaps even this week? Did I get the shmups all wrong? Here's the way I saw things...

I've gotta post this. I saw this on ScrewAttack last night and thought it was just too awesome. It's 44 minutes long so you might need to skip a few times, but the idea is, this guy speed-runs Mega Man 2 in front of an audience while a live rock band plays all of the game's music. It's totally geeky and totally AWESOME. I'd love them to do the same to Mega Man 3 or Mega Man X!

Stay cool. (Especially you poor cold Northern Hemisphere folks... I'm off to the sunny beach now. Mwahahaha!)