Saturday, 18 November 2017

The things I dont buy retro Video Game wise and why.

Now I always talk about what I buy retro game wise and sometimes I can grab a lot of stuff, sometimes to the extent that people believe I simply buy every single old thing I see, and this is not the case at all.  I am very focused on price for me to buy something I have to see it as being sold for a good price, now obviosly price depends on the object but it also depends upon its condition, where it is being sold and all manner of other factors. Just recently I saw a Commodore64 for sale it was in  a charity shop for £195, it was the machine, its wires, its tape deck and about 30 boxed games some of them being the cassette sized ones some being the larger premium box ones. Now I love and support many charities , I buy from them, donate to them (both cash and items to sell) I even used to be a volunteer but I have to admit some of them at times can take the piss with over pricing and selling stuff in poor condition (stained clothes, very badly scratched DVD's). Now I am not saying that no one will buy the Commadore64 for that kind of cash but it is more than I would pay for the machine for a great many reasons, 1 its not a machine I have much history with other than playing it at friends houses when I was young, 2 no one has unlimited house space and thats something I will take into account when buying machines and such sure if the price is a teasingly cheap one I will throw caution to the wind, 3 Mainly I just dont think the machine and these games are worth that kind of money to me. I already have a sizable collection of home computers including a Boxed Sinclair Spectrum +2 , a boxed Dragon32, a boxed Vic20 and then some loose machines. In honesty I knew that if I had grabbed it then I would have taken photos of it, looked at it a little bit and then just put it away in a cupboard, buying it would have proberbly given me a huge rush for a day or two but there are just so many other things I could and should spend the money on, after all Christmas is fast approaching. I do hope that someone does get the machine, someone who it has far more emotional ties to, someone who will appreciate it, who will use it, and who will gain a lot more from it for a lot longer time than I would have done.

So some of the time there are issues which prevent me from purhasing certain items, one would be cost but in all honesty one of the simple issues is that so much of the stuff out there really is not suitable for anyones collection, you dont have to go far to find several badly batterd super scratched copies of various old Fifa games with cases coverd with a mix of cracks and stains and discs that dont look even playable. At the very least these games would need a resurface in order to play and resurfacing games is a risky busines, if you dont know when they resurface discs basically they skim layers off them in the hop of loosing the scratches along with the layer, take to many layers though and they are no longer playable. A lot of these games with extensive scrathes are not worth the cost of a resurface as it basically amounts to a gamble where at best you have a working copy of a worthless game and at best you have paid a small sum of money and still have a useless disc out the end of it, so its hardly a gamble worth taking. Sure if you saw a rare game with a high value going for a pound or two and it was badly scratched then it might very well be worth buying and taking the risk as yes you could resurface it and it still not work but at least there is a gamble there with a very positive outcome as one of the possibilities. I recently got a very badly scrathed disc only copy of Crash Team Racing for the original Playstation for 30p, and copies of this even disc only ones sit on Amazon with asking prices in the range of £30.

I would like to say I have exact hard and fast rules on what I do and dont buy but I suffer from a lot of stress and anxiety and what I buy fluctuates, obviously I never buy absolutly batterd in crap for loads of money, but sometimes I will grab a cheap game I dont even need, sometimes I will grab a second copy of a game I own just because its cheap I am feeling low and I need the little pick me up purchasing it will provide. I never pay over the odds for anything and I always figure that I can always sell a little bit of stuff if money is ever tight. Recently I have started trying to be harsher with myself trying to hold the purchasing desires in check and I think I have been doing a decent job of it, sure you will still see that I buy quiet a bit every month but its the things I dont buy that have increased, I try as much as I can to fight the urges to spend so that I control the hobby and the hobby doesnt control me.

I do have a lot of hard and fast rules that I am not trying to complete any set of games largly because I dont want to feel forced into a corner where I have to pay a crazy amount for something that is basically regarded as being a great big turd. I grudgingly admit I already have enough stuff sat in cupboards seldom even looked at without adding to the pile by adding stuff I dont even really want to look at.

A lot of people will note that I seldom sell or even trade games and this is still true, mostly because a lot of the businesses which operate in game trading operate by really ripping people off but I have at times been very generous. I gave a coworker a megadrive, a master system 2 and a playstation and a few games for free because I could see someone who had a simmilar sort of drive and intrest in the hobby as I did but had not really started collecting. I lost heart in this though as I had given him a fair few N64 carts, nothing that great or valuable but just a few things to get him going and then he ended up spending a lot of money on drinking and found himself short of his rent and food money and he sold the N64 with the games I had given him as well because of this. This is after I had lent him little bits of cash here and there in order to make it to his next rent day without having to miss meals or face too much hardship.  This had a pretty bad effect on me and has made me less likly to give people stuff in the future. Although I did recently get given a great game for free by someone from a new forum I am on and that does make me want to see if I have any bits and pieces I can offer up to others on there to sort of keep the spirit going

Monday, 13 November 2017

Antibullying week

So it's antibullying week and I felt compelled to post about it as it's a topic very close to my heart. I was bullied a fair bit as a kid and this has always made me want to reach out and help others, to try and make it better for them. To this end I took on two voluntary jobs as a mentor for young people who were bullied and/or who sufferd from mental health issues. I donated both my time and money to the cause. I talked to a lot of young bullied kids and did my best to try to help them both to feel better and also to better there situation, it was some of the most rewarding, worthwhile and challenging work I have ever done in my life. The thing is though not only did I make other people's lives better but through doing this I helped myself.

I can remember the first ever time I was actually aware that someone  was being bullied, I'm sure it had proberbly happend before then but I had been too young and too self absorbed to notice it. The first time I saw someone being bullied and knew enough to know they were being bullied and that it was wrong I would have been around 6. It was a girl and I think her name was Ruth. She was in my class at school and she had epilepsy (something I have) she had seizures during the day and she had sufferd some at school and other kids were basically calling her a spastic and a mongaloid and various other hurtful things and while I knew this was wrong and knew enough to realise that I shouldnt do this I basically stood by and ignored it. I ignored it because I was epileptic but at the time was fortunate enough to only have fits from a sleeping state at least as far as anyone knew and I didnt want to be treated in the same way as this girl. This deeply effected me not only did it cause me to hide my epilepsy from people as much as I could for years but I also felt a lot of guilt for letting someone else be mistreated when I could have stood up for them.

I was scared that just like the girl I had seen being bullied that I would be bullied for being diffrent and the honest truth is a few years later I was badly bullied for being diffrent for a completely seperate reason. The thing I have learned the most as an adult which I try to take forwards and teach to other people is that there is no shame in being diffrent, the very fact that so many of us are so diffrent in so many fantastic ways is one of the things that makes the world a bright and intresting place. So much of the time people are told to knuckle down, to fly straight and to live up to expectations essentially to be normal and to fit into a mould but the real truth is that those who really go far are those who fly without limits those who chase there dreams who soar and plummet and twist and barrel role and I think the key to this is in excepting your diffrences and in ignoring those who want to pin you down to hold you back to stop you from gliding amongst the clouds.

So how did helping others who had been bullied help me? It helped me to better love myself, to forgive myself for past wrongs (such as not stepping in to help the girl being bullied when I was 6) it made me feel like a better, stronger person, it gave me an improved sense of self worth and it helped me to see a better side of life, a side where if we all stopped and helped each other just a little bit we could make things better for everyone. My charity work also had the very pleasent effect of helping to round out my CV and helped me get new paid employment, which certainly helps me to have the time and resources to keep posting on here.

I am talking about this during Antibullying week as I want to try and inspire my fellow man/woman to try to do the same, no you dont have to run out and work for a charity or even donate to a charity just stop and think about those around you, throw out a compliment or a kind word, pass on some good will and tell others to keep passing it on. If you have children in your life though be you a mum or dad or grandma or auntie or uncle or god parent just take a moment to talk to the young people in your life and get the message out to them, treat others as you would wish to be treated and dont be scared of diffrences, try to be kind and in this way through small good deeds, kindness and acceptance help to make the world a better place for all of us.



Sunday, 12 November 2017

Talking about the leaked N64 Mini game list


OK so the SNES mini classic hasnt really been out that long but recently we had what could best be called an indirect confirmation of a N64 Classic Edition, now on top of that it seemed that there was a list of potential games.This list came from the fact that someone noticed a list of 19 N64 manuals which were available for download on Nintendos website. 19 seemed like a workable number given the fact  the mini NES had 30 and the SNES mini had 2. Apparently though after everyone got excited it was pointed out that  this list of games simply coincides with the previously released catalog of N64 Wii U Virtual Console titles in the UK. So most likly this list was just a hold over from that but I would argue that if they had these games up and working on the Wii U virtual console via emulation and have all the rights for them then odds are good that a lot of them if not all of them have a high chance of ending up on a Mini N64 So I will list them and then talk about the choices.

  • 1080° Snowboarding
  • Bomberman 64
  • Donkey Kong 64
  • Excitebike 64
  • F-Zero X
  • Mario Golf
  • Mario Kart 64
  • Mario Party 2
  • Mario Tennis
  • Paper Mario
  • Pokémon Snap
  • Sin and Punishment
  • Super Mario 64
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Wave Race 64
  • Yoshi's Story
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
  • Star Fox 64
Well I kind of think we would be lucky to get 19 games in all honesty, look at it this way the 8bit machine had 30 games the 16bit dropped to 21 so to only drop to 19 would be pretty good really. I know that when it comes to the N64 Rare were pretty much as important as Nintendo themselves, a lot of Rare's games like Golden Eye and Banjo Kazooie are rememberd just as fondly and seen as arguable being just as important a part of the N64 Experiance as Mario and Zelda. Pretty much everyone knows that Rare is owned by Microsoft though so that stops most of them from being used (Donkey Kong 64 is an exception as Nintendo own the rights to it).

All things considerd though when you look at the above list of games I think it touches all major bases you have Mario 64 so Mario's platformer on the system, you have Kirby 64 so Kirbys N64 game, Star Fox 64, both of the Zelda games as previously mentioned Donkey Kong 64. The list is very Mario heavy what with there being paper mario (the mario RPG for N64) Mario Tennis, Mario party 2 and Mario Kart64 but then there is seldom a bad Mario game so its not really anything to moan about. The thing is that unlike the SNES and NES where 3rd party support was very strong it largly was Nintendo alone who kept the N64 alive and kicking so its not surprising that a possible list would be so first party heavy. In honesty though if a Mini N64 did come out and the above list of games was the actual contents of the console then I dont think people would really have much that they could complain about.

Would I buy a Mini N64 with these games on it for £80 though (my guess at the price) I dont know, the thing is I own a few N64's and apart from Paper Mario, Mario Party 2 and Sin and Punishment I actually own all of the titles listed above (and a lot that are not). I guess if there is a mini N64 it will end up being just as hackable as the Mini NES and SNES and you could therefore add the missing Rare games and such. There is one thing that might make me appreciate the Mini N64 though and thats the fact that I could most likly just use the Wii Classic controller on it and as I hate the N64 controller so much this might actually help me to enjoy the games a lot more.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Why I am proud to live with my Dad: Why I shun the stigma of living at home.

I recently read an article about more people living with there parents than before, for once though it was a positive news peice it talked about the advantages. Now I personally liked this article because I live in my father's house, it's me, him and my daughter under one roof togther.  Originally this started as a temporary measure, after being assaulted by my at the time wife I took my child and we moved back in with my mum and dad. It was a tough time for me as I had to attend court to gain permanent custody of my daughter and due to issues related to both the split and my health I was well to put it simply in need of help and support. It started out as a temporary measure, I was going to apply for a flat or a house but then things changed again.

Unfortunately while I was still dealing with court my mother was taken into hospital suddenly and unexpectedly about three weeks latter she passed away. This rocked the whole family, everyone was so upset, myself my daughter and my father all of us worked together to support each other. I love my dad a lot but I'd always had a closer relationship with my mum but in the last few years my dad had been a real rock for me and we had gotten a lot closer now as we supported each other through our pain this bond became even stronger. I had lost my mum but I had gained a better relationship with my dad. This is when I decided I wasn't going to and couldn't move out and leave my dad on his own.

My dad is a very strong and proud man despite having various disabilities, he would never ask for help or admit he needs something and yet he has stood by me and supported me every time I have needed help, so regardless of if he asks for it or not I am going to do the same for him.

I know that it helps my dad not only having me around but also having my daughter around, she may be a teanager now but with age comes it's own issues. She gets as much help and support from him as she does from me and she keeps him nice and busy, she has the benefit of his wisdom and experience and she constantly shows him new things with the fresh perspective of a young whiper snapper.

I suffer with Epilepsy and I have fits and vacancies, I also suffer from stress and anxiety as a result of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and my dad keeps an eye on me, he reminds me to take my pills offers me support if I am feeling ill or worrying but its not just a one way thing. My dad suffers with various issues including a lot of pain in connection to an industrial injury and diabeties, so I keep an eye on him as well, both of us would be a lot more worried about things if we were not toghther. To me this is exactly what family should be and should do.

I know there is a lot of stigma attached to living at home as an adult but I also know that family's come in all shapes and sizes. I know some people think if you live with your parents it's social suicide and that you will never get a date but I don't think it's true. I think if someone is not interested in you because of your particular living arrangements and writes you off because of this without getting to know you then that says a lot more about them than it does about you. When I met my wonderful girlfriend I never hid my living arrangements I let her know who I live with and why and she appreciated how important my family is to me because she loves and values her own, this is one of the many many reasons I love her as much as I do and part of why I see her as part of my family.

People are too quick not only to pick on others but to beat themselves up abouty all manner of things nowdays from living arrangments to type of employment to physical attributes and its something which needs to be curbed were possible as life is hard enough with out all of this shit. If you enjoy how you live be it with friends, family, a partner or on your own if it is what is currently best for you, best for your health, for your needs then dont let anyone put you down for it, life is hard enough as it is and you need to do anything you can to make it easier to enjoy your life and if you can help someone else at the same time then all the better.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Pokemon the Movie: I choose You! Review


So on the 5th of November I went to the Cinema with my daughter to see Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You! So this is going to be a short  review of the film. Now its important to note that despite not saying everything that happens in this film, there will be spoilers here. First things first despite being something like the 20th Pokemon movie this film is actually an origin story essentially retelling the early days of Ash's Pokemon adventure, including Ash & Pikachu's first meeting, him getting his Caterpie, it growing up, him getting Charmander and it evolving, this makes this film very much a reimagining of some of Ash's earliest days.The retread nature of this film might make you love it because it hits many of those warm and fuzzy moments from your childhood all over again or it might make you hate it as it basically tells a whole new story just with certain key elements still in tact. It is a little like I went and told someone what happend in the first year or so of Pokemon and they decided to remake it just with notes from what I had said and then there own imagination filling in the blanks.

The problem is one moment this film delighted me by reminding me of all the good times I had watching the show but then it went on to simply piss me off because it had essentially rewritten Pokemon history, Brock and Misty have been tossed aside and replaced by two diffrent trainers who are pretty decent but still I couldnt help but miss Brock and Misty. Ash and Pickachu's interations and relationship stayed pretty much the same and this made it a darn cute film for young kids, there was some adorable shouting from the smaller members of the audience who got worried for the pair but some of my favourate Pokemon and moments were missing, I got to see Charmander and his various evolutions but  Ash never got a Squirtle, yes they still had the old bye bye butterfree moment from the series in it and well I am sure something got in my eye during that part,it wasnt tears from a fully grown man honestly it wasnt.

 The cinema release of this film was extremly limited but I am sure it will make its way to disc soon, wether you should get it or not depends on a bunch of things one of them is how much you care about the original series and wether your willing to see a slightly diffrent version of the tale. If your the kind of person who goes in to a white rage when something you love is changed and you had a lot of fondness for the old Pokemon episodes then you might want to save yourself the trouble of watching this because it could send you into the kind of white hot rage you see from the Han shot first StarWars crowd, but if your willing to enjoy a slightly diffrent version of events or just want something thats decent to put on in front of the kids then this film gets a thumbs up from me.

Just to end this, Yes Han shot first and missing out the Squirtle Squad is a crime against nature.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Is it worth getting a Switch yet?

Well I got asked recently by someone if they should buy a switch for there kid and I quickly found myself saying no. Now I got a Switch on release, I also got a Wii on release and a GameCube a week after release but I just find it hard to support the Switch too strongly right now. 

I was sat one night in front of my laptop thinking how little I had used my switch and how few games I had, so I started looking online at games that were already out and stuff that was coming out soon, I basically wanted to see if there was anything that could get me using my machine a little bit more. I saw 3 games which were either just out or coming out soon the cheapest of which I could find for £23.99, now considering the fact some of the Switch games are more around the £50 mark this didn't seem too bad but then latter on I happened to look at what was on sale on the Microsoft Xbox under the deals of the week heading and that is when I saw something that shocked me a lot. I saw 3 of the games I had been looking at for the switch and here they were on sale on the Xbox One all available now 2 of them for only £6 and the third for only £10. So I could either buy all 3 of these for £22 or spend like £70 or more to get them for the switch.

One of the Games was a driving game called Monster Jam Crush It which is not out on the switch here until the 14th of November yet here I am playing it now for £6. It is not just stuff like this though Switch users are being sold stuff I have been playing for ages on other platforms for lots of money as if its new, I am talking about Doom and Skyrim for a start, yes they are good games but there old games now and I cant help but feel like you take away the old over priced stuff and you take away most of the Switches library. If you are thinking about getting a switch then you need to think about the exclusives such as Mario Odyssey, Zelda breathe of the wild, Mario and Rabbids kingdom battle.

I think if you should get a Switch or not depends heavily on how much you want to play Nintendo's first party games, if you really want these then buy a Switch but for general gaming you can proberbly get a lot of the other stuff cheaper elsewere.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Microsofts Xbox One is now backwards backwards compatable kind of..... (Some Xbox games are now playable on the Xbox One)

Towards the end of 2015 Microsoft idea of Xbox engineering boss Mike Ybarra broached the subject of making original Xbox games playable on the Xbox One through backwards compatibility he said that the feature hadnt been ruled out, but that we shouldn't expect it to come anytime soon. Well I guess if he was right or not depends largly on your definition of soon as now towards the end of 2017 we now have original Xbox games on the Xbox one through backwards compatability.

Xbox One backwards compatibility works by emulating the Xbox 360 operating system and then running the games through this apparently, well after having tried one of the Xbox original games on the Xbox one it would appear that they are doing the exact same thing as when you go to play the game you see the original Xbox start up screen.

Currently there are only 7 original xbox games in my country at least which are on the list of those which are currently playable via the Xbox one, and there are basically two ways to play them. One is you simply buy them on the Xbox store and the other is if you have a copy of the disc you can put that in. If you put the original disc in though you dont actually play the game of the disk, the disk simply proves that you own it, you are then allowed to download it but can only play it while the disk is in the slot, still its great that they have made it work in this way because if you have the game your not forced to pay for it again and even if you dont have the disk you can look if its cheaper to source a copy before paying for it digitally.

So far the original xbox games are Black, Ninja Gaiden Black, Crimson Skies, Fusion Frenzy, Psychonauts,  Sid Meiers Pirates, and Grabbed By The Ghoulies. Now with the exception of  Fusion Frenzy I think they are all darn fine games some of the best from the machine. I would argue that now you can buy Rare Replay which features Grabbed by the Ghoulies and a whole other bunch of games its a bit of a redundant purchase but I guess if you have it laying around then its free and you cant complain about free. For those of us who collect old games though this is a great thing, it might not be a lot of games now but it will be great to see which games end up on the list. I have noticed while looking up Knights of the old Republic that game is also on the xbox store and you can buy it to play on your Xbox one, I have this game on disc but I havent gotten round to trying it yet.

I have tried Crimson Skies though and it worked a treat, I enjoyed playing it again and it ran perfectly, if every single game runs like this then it will be awesome. So I guess the last thing to say is what games would I like to see on the list next right? Well I am going to do that but I am going to stick to games which already appeared on the list of Xbox original games that you could play on the Xbox 360 as well I think these are the most likly ones we will see.

  • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
  • Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II
  • The Bard's Tale
  • Blinx: The Time Sweeper
  • Blinx 2: Masters of Time & Space
  • Blood Omen 2
  • Brute Force
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
  • Burnout
  • Burnout 2
  • Burnout 3: Takedown
  •  Conker: Live and Reloaded 
  • Dead or Alive 3
  • Dead or Alive Ultimate
  • DOOM 3
  • EA SPORTS Fight Night Round 3
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick
  • Evil Dead: Regeneration
  • Fable
  • Fatal Frame
  • Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly DIRECTOR'S CUT
  • Future Tactics: The Uprising
  • Genma Onimusha
  • Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee
  • Godzilla: Save The Earth
  • GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
  • Grand Theft Auto: 3
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  • Indigo Prophecy
  • Jade Empire
  • JSRF: Jet Set Radio Future
  • Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis 
The truth is that I could go on and on listing games I would like to see on backwards compatability but the fact I have already made quiet a bit list very quickly shows that there is a good catalog of games for them to pick from. Part of the fun though will be to see what comes up as playable in the future and run to my retro game collection to see if I have a copy of it sat there.