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Topics - hoshichiri

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Off Topic / SPRING! (Video)
« on: March 19, 2020, 07:25:08 pm »
No great discussion to be had- on the first day of Spring, I post this video everywhere I can think of. Have for a few years now. Enjoy!

Video Game Database Discussion / How to put custom GBA into collection?
« on: September 24, 2019, 09:03:20 am »
GBA Arctic White <- dupe

I made that listing, and it WASNT a duplicate! I was trying to make a generic listing for 'Gameboy Advance', with no color attached to it (like this listing for the SP.) My newest GBA is a custom model that can't be listed under the specific options available now.

Can I set something like that up, or is it going to get removed again? I'd like to list all my consoles!

MOD EDIT: Topic split from Duplicate List 2019 thread.

General / Rebellious Bullet- unreleased Xbox game
« on: September 10, 2019, 12:03:04 pm »
Copying my post from Atariage over here, since I'm sure some of you are interested:

My twitter feed popped up a thread by a Mr. Jordan Baty today, who'd randomly bid on an Xbox DVT4 developer console on Yahoo auctions with no expections, but ended up winning. The system turned out to have an unreleased shooter called Rebellious Bullet tucked away into it. Here's his brief (and self-admittedly poor) play video:

I think it looks like it would have been a fun one- I dig the music. For the curious, he's already dumped the ROM, links are in the twitter thread (I'm not too familiar with how roms work, so I'll let the interested of you sort it out.)

General / Title Screen Vs. Ending
« on: September 04, 2019, 12:02:24 pm »
Swiping this topic from Atariage- especially with retro games, developers often don't have the memory resources to put in everything they'd like. Obviously the bulk should go to the actual game, but which is more important to get those lovely, limited data bits- a big, splashy intro screen to suck you in, or an explosive finish to cap the game off?

Site Feedback / Photo display options
« on: August 22, 2019, 11:32:15 am »
So, I've had a little goal for myself since I set up here- when someone scrolls through my list of stuff, they'll be a picture for each listing. I've added many photos to obscure listings to set this up- but there's two in my collection now that present a challenge: The Arduboy and Art Master for the Vectrex. Neither of these have boxes- Arduboys (at least mine) ship in clear/silver Ziploc pouches, and Art Master was packaged with the Lightpen. What this means is, while both items have media photos of the cart/console listed, they still show up as 'no art' in my collection.

Is it possible to make the listing default to any available photo? Or, given the unique situation for these two specifically, is it appropriate to list the media photo as the 'front box art' so something shows up in collection lists?

General / Mini Game Tool Kit
« on: July 22, 2019, 12:44:14 pm »
Bit of a silly thing to make a thread over, but I'm really happy with how this came together so I wanted to show off a bit!

So, we all know there's fake games out in the world, and one of the best ways to spot them is to open cartridges and check boards. Most cartridges use non-standard screws, meaning if you want to do this, you'll need a set of special tools just for opening up your gaming stuff. We also know dirty connectors can keep a game from running correctly, so being able to clean them can make sure a game found is functional or not. A really good game store is going to have these tools & supplies in the building for you to use- but the really good stores also probably did all the cleaning & checking for you. The OK stores might have a TV around for you to use, but likely won't have any of the rest- and yard sales/conventions? No guarantees. A prepared retro game shopper needs to be carrying these things around, in case they need them & the seller doesn't have them.

Now, up until a few days ago, I had 2 sets of tools- my big home set consists of about a dozen various screwdrivers, plus cleaners, polishes, microfiber cloths, cotton rounds, system-specific connector cleaners, etc. Basically everything I have ever needed for anything I've ever done to a console or cartridge at home. It takes up a plastic bin the size of a small trashcan- too big for being out & about. So, I made a travel kit for conventions- a carefully selected group of drivers, plus one up cards/q-tips/iso… basically everything I should need to open & clean a cart for any system I own. This set is in a plastic pencil box- fine for my big convention messenger bag, not so good for my everyday purses. I needed a much more compact set, but the screwdrivers only get so small, right?

Then, a few weeks ago, I found this. It don't open every cart for every console, but it's going to cover a good 95% of them. Plus, it'll open a few of the standard controllers too, and it's all with 1/8th hex bits instead of the far more common 1/4th... meaning it's about half the size of most tools. I ordered two- this one, and the blue version offered at Retro Modding. But what about the cleaners, & something to keep it all in?

I immedately hit up Daiso- sort of a Japanese dollar store- knowing they sold empty atomizers (like these, but indivually). I got a couple bottles and a teal earbud case. A visit to Amazon netted me a second earbud case (different shape for a deep bag where I find things by feel.) I also dug up a couple eyeglass cleaning cloths- not hard to get. Ever go to a gorvery store & have someone try to sell you knives with 'a free gift' at the end of the pitch? Almost always an eyeglass cloth. Anyway, the orange tools showed up, and I got to assembling:

A perfect little tool set in a case 5x3 inches- plenty small enough for any bag! A bit of stick-on velcro hook keeps the small stuff in place. Still waiting on the blue tools for the other case- the mesh pocket in that one's turned the other way, so I added an elastic band to hold the taller tools. More photos when I have it together too- then I'll have a lil' set for all of my bags, & can be ready to check any too-good-to-be-true finds!

General / Your favorite swag
« on: June 28, 2019, 11:04:04 pm »
So, we often talk about our game collections- what are our favorite games? Which ones cost the most? How do we store them?

As one goes about collecting games, one inevitably ends up with tangential items that are not at all games. The knick-knacks, the tchotchkes, the tat- whether it comes from a collector's edition or we bought it purposefully, we end up with it. So- what's your favorite stuff?

My favorite by far is Lucia's pendant from the PS1 release of Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete. It's nothing fancy- just a round piece of gold-colored metal with a black enamel crescent. But I ADORE it- it's such a wonderfully basic, boho kind of design- the sort of thing that looks like a simple fashion choice unless a person is familiar with the game. I actually bought a second one so I could keep the one in my set nice, and I wear that thing almost everytime I go out. It's been recognized by someone 3 times that I can recall: twice at Seattle Retro Game Con, and once at a Puddles Pity Party concert.

General / Nostalgic games
« on: May 17, 2019, 09:17:47 am »
Something I got asked by a co-worker recently: "what games are you nostalgic for?" It's an interesting question- doesn't matter if the game is new, old, good or bad- what conjures up the warm fuzzies of the past?

For me, Sonic the Hedgehog usually does it, being our first Genesis game & one of the very first games I really got into. A lot of my childhood Genesis library stirs the ol' memories up- Lightening Force, Cyborg Justice, even filler trash like Clue & Art Alive. Some of the early NES stuff can get to me too- Super Mario Bros of course, but also Tetris & memories of my mom wiping the floor with us, my brother & sister trading off bosses in Wizards & Warriors, waking up early on a Saturday & catching a bad guy for the first time in Carmen Sandiego, but no one was around so I couldn't prove it... not as much, but it's there.

Once the disc based games kick in, the nostalgia fades... I was in high school during the PS1 era & starting to collect, so it feels less like nostalgia & more like the beginning of my current gaming phase (at least right now.) I do, however, get a sort-of nostalgia for my Saturn... which is interesting becuase I only got one a couple years ago. I wanted one so badly when I was 12 and never got it, so turning it on and hearing those startup noises is always like a little victory for my inner child.

General / A seafarer's guide to international waters
« on: April 12, 2019, 09:44:24 am »
Or, without the metaphor: the best ways to play imports.

I'm sure we all know about mod chips, but what I'm interested in is soft mods- ways to play imports without permanently altering your console. Even if it doesn't produce a fully region free system, a good soft mod can expand the library of even the least technical game player. Sometimes though, it can be hard to figure out if there's a soft mod option available for your system of choice- so, here's a thread to start gathering that info.

So, first off- with the exception of the 3DS, all handhelds as well as the 3 current systems are region free without any effort on the player's part. In fact, the current consoles & the vita will, for certain games, automatically translate into the language of the console regardless of the game's origin. For example, if you put a Japanese copy of I Am Setsuna into an American Switch, it'll play in English. It's a handy thing!

For older disc based consoles, some systems have freeloader programs available. These use boot discs/memory cards/both to allow you to run imported software, with the caveat that you have to use the device every time you boot the imported game. The Saturn's action replay is a very useful freeloader, since it occupies the memory card slot & you don't have to go actively swap discs. Action replay also makes a boot disc for Gamecube, and there's plenty out there for Dreamcast... but I can't seem to get a clear answer on there being options for PS1/PS2. I occasionally see things on a 'free McBoot' for playstation, but no clear instructions on where to get it or how it works. Anybody know?

For cartridge based systems, it can get interesting... usually, the only thing stopping an American system from running Japanese games & vice versa is the physical shape of the cartridge itself. In the case of the SNES & N64, you can remove a couple plastic tabs in the cartridge slot to defeat the lockout. On the N64, you can buy a replacement cartridge tray if you don't have the tools to make the mod (or don't want to), but I've yet to see the same for the SNES- probably becuase it's a far more complicated swap. NES consoles have more connectors than famicoms, but a simple converter lets you play games between systems- some early NES games actually have the converters in them, you just have to open them up. Genesis is where I get a little fuzzy, as the region lock wasn't consistent across all games, so I'm not sure what's definitively needed.

With older games, you have to deal with the PAL vs. NTSC factor too. It doesn't effect US/Japan swaps- they're both NTSC. European systems, however, use the PAL video format which isn't compatible with NTSC. Sometimes it just affects game speed, but sometimes it doesn't work at all. I'm under the impression some game genie-type devices can fix this issue, but I'm not sure.

So, what do you guys know about playing imports? I've love to know some more ways to try games from other regions!

Video Game Database Discussion / Worthy of a seperate entry?
« on: September 04, 2018, 10:20:04 pm »
So I just picked up Toby: The Secret Mine up at PAX. As you can see, the listing states some versions have a drawstring bag included- that's the version I have. My first thought upon seeing this setup was to make a new listing for the variant with the bag. Then I looked over the box- there is nothing on the outer packaging to indicate a separate SKU. The bag sn't packaged inside the game- rather, both have been placed into a UPC-less, generic 'game fairy' box. I would imagine the publisher uses these across multiple games with extra goodies attached to them.

Which leaves me wondering- do I make the seperate listing? There's no difference in the acutal information being presented, and the box is not intrinsically part of the release... it feels like making seperate listings for different colored trays in a CD jewel case release. At the same time- the bag is a pretty clear difference of content, enough so that in almost any other situation I wouldn't question making the seperate entry.

I thought I'd get some feedback before cluttering up the database.

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