Saturday, 31 December 2016

My December 2016 Retro Video Game purchases.

The month of December started with me buying a copy of Tonic Trouble for N64 on cart only for £3 and ordering another cart only copy for the same price £3 which arrived a few days latter. I had never played it before so thought Id give it a try, I know it might sound silly getting two copies but every time I see this its usually quiet bit more,in fact last time my local indy store had it they wanted a pricly sum of £15 for a cart so two for £6 seemed like something I couldnt miss.

On Friday December the 2nd my daughter met me after work and we went down to a local indy shop, mostly as we were walking with a work friend of mine who wanted to go. I ended up getting myself a Gamecube import game bundle for £50, this bundle contained a freeloader (a disc that makes your cube play imports) and then a whole bunch of NTSC (American) games Need for speed hot pursuit 2, Superman shadow of Apokolips, Finding Nemo,Chicken Little, Harry Potter and the prisoner of azkaban, spongebob squarepants the movie,need for speed underground 2, crash bandicoot the wrath of cortex, and Paper Mario the thousand-year door. Yeah it was mostly the last one that made me agree to buy this bundle as the last few times I have seen this game it has been like £65 or more on its own even when in not very good condition (this one was in very good condition).

On  Friday December the 9th I grabbed a few games first I got Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker (Greatest Hits Version) complete for PSP £2.99 from a pawn store and after this I visited a charity shop and managed to get, Mario Kart Wii complete for 49pence, PokePark Wii complete for 49pence, and Juiced complete for Xbox for 49pence which I thought was a great little find. My favourate purchase on that day though was Pierre le chef Out to Lunch complete for the SNES for £15. If you read this blog then you will have seen that I recently reviewed this game and know that I have very strong feelings for it.

On Sunday December the 11th I walked to a games store after finishing work and was very happily suprised to see and buy the following, Blaster Master Nes cart, sleeve and manual for £10, Kabuki Quantum fighter Nes cart, sleeve and manual for £5, and Bugs Bunny Blowout Nes cart sleeve and manual for £5. I was very happy mostly because I had wanted Blaster Master for a long time but also because it has become increasingly difficult to find NES games what with there age and popularity.

On Tuesday December the 13th I recieved ,Klax complete for MegaDrive (American) for £3. I actually purchased this because I had been talking to my girlfriend about the megadrive and she had asked me if I owned this game, I didnt and well as she had fond memories of it I decided that I would buy it so that I could let her play it sometime and at £3 including postage for a complete version it was also at a price I could be proud of.

Following this I visited a game shop and picked up, Super Off Road cart manual and sleve for NES for £5, Tetris cart, manual and sleve for NES for £8, King of the fighters Maximum Impact for PS2 complete for £3.50, King of the fighters 2000-2001 (the saga continues) for ps2 complete for £4 and Star Ocean Till the end of time for ps2 complete for £8. As said before its always great to get your hands on NES games and I fgured I should grab a copy of Star Ocean Till the End of Time before it becomes a pig to get ahold of.

On Friday December the  16th I recieved a game I had orderd of the internet I got Fantasy Zone for game gear complete £6. I was really happy to see that this turned up in great condition when I had seen it being sold for £6 including postage I had sort of assumed that despite it being advertised that it would arrive as just a cart as boxed copies usually go for £25 and above and sometimes the old saying if it seems to good to be true it proberbly is proves to be true, but on this occasion I got what I wanted and really lucked out.

On Friday December the 23rd,I went on a walk around some local charity shops and from the first one I visited I picked up Mario Galaxy 2 for Wii for £3.99, now this is a great price for this particular game but I am not overly keen on the shop itself, I cant fault this game it was in great condition but they tend to think that all games are worth £3.99 regardless of what they are or if they are in perfect condition or if they have been half eaten by a dog. Now you might say I should go easy on them with it being for charity but when I have seen them trying to sell Fifa 2012 for £3.99 with teeth marks in the case this is just taking up shelf space and realisitically is going to sit there for ever where if theyd throw something like this out the door at a cheap price theyd have room to display other things and make more money. From another charity shop I grabbed Singstar R&B for PS2 for 30pence complete and Dead or Alive 2 for PS2 30pence complete.

So at £138.55 you could say this month was a pretty darn expensive month but I think I got a fair amount of bang for my buck so to speak. I am also very aware that I worked some diffficult shifts with a lot of hassle and worked a little more than I would like so when I saw something and wonderd if I should buy it often a voice in my head kind of said sod it treat yourself for going through this or for having to put up with that etc, this might sound a little selfish but I had a fair bit of cash saved to the side for Christmas and I also was just as generous with buying extra gifts for my girlfriend and my family. Will I be spending less next month? Well my birthday is in January so the urge to treat myself will proberbly be just as strong so who can say, I guess it depends upon what I see on my travels.

Friday, 30 December 2016

RIP Richard Adams

So 2016 just hadnt taken enough people from us. I didnt intend to end this year with tribute after tribute, I had video games and films to talk about as well as a few other ideas for posts but each and every one of these people who has passed has effected my life very strongly for one reason or another and I would feel bad if I was to ignore there loss.

So Today I am here to mourn the passing of Richard George Adams an English novelist who is arguably best known as the author of Watership Down. Now I will admit that I came across this novel via the film adaption. In fact the last time I talked about WaterShip down on this blog when it was shown at easter and the fact that for a film with a U it had a suprsingly dark edge to it. Well in honesty its not really dark its just realistic and uncompramisingly so. I watched it at quiet a young age and in honesty I think it is a great film and the film led me to the book which is arguably even better. It is a classic piece of literature which I feel the world would be worse without. Richard Adams breathed so much humanity in to the rabbits in his book that you couldnt help but better understand the plights faced by a rabbit in its day to day life, its not suprising that he spent a year as the president of the RSPCA, his work has proberbly made more people stop and think about the animals around them than anyone else and he did it while crafting one of the most enjoyable stories out.

I also think its intresting to note that Adams originally began telling the story that would go on to become Watership Down to his two daughters Juliet and Rosamond during a car trip. The story goes that it was his daughters who insisted that he turn this story in to a book. This process took him two years to complete and the struggle wasnt over there four publishers and three writers agencys turned it down before Rex Collings agreed to publish it. Kind of suprising for a book which would go on to gain international acclaim almost immediately after itse release going on to win both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. I guess if anything can be taken from this story it is that if you have faith in something you have created then stand by it keep pushing and ride out the rejection.

Rest In peace Richard Adams your loss as well as the loss of many of my other heroes this year has been a bitter pill to swallow but swallow it we all must I will end with some words of his own from Watership Down  “Would that the dead were not dead! But there is grass that must be eaten, pellets that must be chewed, hraka that must be passed, holes that must be dug, sleep that must be slept.”

Thursday, 29 December 2016

RIP Carrie Fisher

Now I dont think I have talked about StarWars that much on this blog, yes I touched on the Peter Cushing related controversy about a week ago but I dont go on and on about my love for StarWars. Most people proberbly wont know that before I started collecting Video Games I was a pretty Hardcore StarWars collecter and the figure that started it all was the Leia/Boushh bounty hunter figure. I had seen the films multiple times, I had of course seen the figures but there I was on a Market when I saw someone selling some figures and I had to have the Boushh one and it all just spiraled from there. So lets just say that StarWars and its stars have always meant a lot to me. So I was greatly sad when I found out that actress Carrie Fisher had passed away. I was sat at my girlfriends house watching a Mis Marple adventure on the TV and decided I would check the news, no idea why but thats when I was hit with the news of yet another celebrity death and it might sound sad when I have never met her but I couldnt help but shed a tear over her death.

Carrie Frances Fisher has passed away at the age of 60, she passed on the 27TH of December four days after having a heart attack during an airplane flight. Now to most people she will be rememberd simply as the actress behind Princess Leia, they will think of her in her metal bikini in Return of the Jedi or remember trivia like how she had her breasts taped down in the original Star Wars but she was so much more than this. She was  an actress, a writer, a producer, and a humorist. She was the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds (she has also passed away a day or so after Carrie herself unfortunalty).

Fisher may have been well known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars film series. but she was also in Shampoo , The Blues Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters , The 'Burbs, Drop Dead Fred and When Harry Met Sally and other films. She also wrote several semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge,  an autobiographical one-woman play, and a non-fiction book, Wishful Drinking. I have to admit although I have seen most of the films with her in I havent touched a single one of her books but I have heard nothing but praise when it comes to them, I guess this is something I will need to change.

In later years, she has earned praise for speaking publicly about her experiences with bipolar disorder and drug addiction. This is something which I really respect her for, it can be tough to talk about mental health issues but its something that needs to be done in order for people to learn about them, and what its like to live with one.

The last most people will have seen of her is reprising her role as Leia in StarWars the Force Awakens and I am glad that it has been confirmed that she had already filmed all of her scenes for the upcoming untitled Star Wars Episode VIII and that Disney have already said that they will think of a fitting way to explain the characters absense in the film that follows that. I highly hope that they dedicate the next film to her.

All I can say is that her passing has sadend me for she was the definitive princess of my youth, May the Force be with you always Carrie Fisher.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

George Michael RIP...

I have to admit the last few days seem to have hit me like a tonne of bricks, it just seems to have been famour person after famous person I adore dropping dead and they have all been people who I have really looked up to for one reason or another, each one of them warrants a post of there own and that is exactly what I intend to do. So I guess I will start with George Michael,because it was his passing I heard of at first,  may he rest in peace.

So I could say that if you dont know who George Michael is then its about time I asked you which rock you have been living under but I guess it would just be easier to try and sum him up.  He was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou but known by most people under his professional name George Michael, he was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer.He first rose to fame as a member of the popular Muic group(Duo)) Wham! who were responsible for hits like ''Edge of Heaven'', ''Last Christmas'', ''Club Tropicano'' and my personal favourate of theres ''Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go'' George Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His debut solo album, Faith, sold in excess of 20 million copies worldwide. During his careeer he achieved seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and was ranked by Billboard magazine as the 40th-most successful artist ever. On top of this he won three Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards.

As a Child of the 80's George's music was a big part of my life I frequently danced to it both at home and during nights out, I took every chance I could to sing it even though my singing voice leaves a lot to be desired and his hits had a serious place in the track listing of my life in general. I remember back when a lot of the games I played on the spectrum had soundtracks consisting of various bleeps that now days would be regarded as a form of torture I used to silence them and throw a Wham Cassette on.

George Michael was more than just a singer though and he certainly touched peoples lives in a much bigger way than providing relief from primative game music, he was was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser for a start. I remember him singing Somebody To Love with Queen at a concert after Freddy Mecury's death and thinking wow George is the only one apart from Freddy Himself who could make this sound so good. On top of this Michael was involved in Band Aid, singing on the charity song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" to raise money to help combat famine  in Ethiopia, not only this though he donated the royalties from his own song"Last Christmas" to Band Aid and sang with Elton John at Live Aid (the Band Aid charity concert). He took part in the Prince's Trust charity concert held at Wembley Arena,  the proceeds from his 1991 single "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" were divided between 10 different charities for children, AIDS and education. He also joined other celebrities to support a campaign to help raise £20 million for terminally ill children run by the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity of which he was a patron. This might sound like a lot but I have proberbly only touched on part of what people knew he had done for charity and following his death, many charities have revealed that Michael had privately been a supporter of them for many years. The founder and president of Childline, has come forward and said that he had given them "millions" over the years including the royalties from his 1996 number one single "Jesus to a Child" Apparently he had also been supporting the Terrence Higgins Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.

There are also tales of how George Michael was charitable to individuals in need apparently he called the production team of the quiz show Deal or No Deal after a contestant had revealed that she needed £15,000 to fund IVF treatment, and anonymously paid for this treatment personally and once tipped a student nurse working as a barmaid £5,000  because she was in debtand he wanted to help.

People could choose to just remember him for his music, or they could choose to remember him for his issues with drugs or the time he was tricked in to exposing himself to a police officer so they could arrest him, You could remember him as someone who stuck it back to the police for this by satarising them in his musical response (Outside) and its video, you could remember him for his political opinions (after all his Single Shoot The Dog is about how the UK under Tony Blair blindly followed the USA in matters of intinational polotics) I choose to remember him though as a beautiful person who had a talent which he could have used purly for his own personal gain and instead chose to donate a substantial amount to various charities to try to make the world a better place for people in general, he might be gone but he will never be forgotten because his music will continue to form part of the soundtrack to many peoples lives as long as there is music.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas one and all...

Well this wont be a long post but I jut wanted to write a quick simple Merry Christmas to everyone.  So what did I get for Christmas? I got a lot of cool StarWars and Pokemon bits and pieces not games or films just cool merchandise like a Gengar hoody and a Darth Vader Comic book ecetera. I got a brilliant bracelt from my girlfriend along with a mountain of awesome geeky things that are really me down to a T and show that as much as I can go on and on about Video Games and films she really listens to me. My Dad and Daughter got me an awesome coffee machine and a coffee grinder to go with it, and I also got a brilliant Blue Ray double set from my friend it is Amicus' Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror (the first of which stars Peter Cushing so ties in very nicly to yesterdays post).

I just hope that everyone appreciates the things I got for them as much as like my presents..... Merry Christmas to everyone I hope you all got things that make you happy and that you have a great day..

Friday, 23 December 2016

Is it wrong to use Peter Cushings likeness after his death, and the Helen Cushing Rose.

OK so lets get one thing straight right from the start of this, I adore  Peter Cushing, the first time I saw him as a child was in the American Doctor Who and the Daleks movies, then he was Moff Tarkin in Starwars , then I found out that he was Van Helsing in the Hammer Horror Dracula films and got in to his horror work, I dont think I would be over stating it when saying that he was an amazing actor and he was one of the very best horror film actors who has ever lived.

So In order for you to get the point of what I am talking about I need to lay down a few simple points Peter Cushing is dead, he has been for sometime unfortunatly and the new StarWars film Rogue One has just come out. Ok so Rogue One is set before StarWars a new hope otherwise known as the original 1977 StarWars. They decided in this film to use CGI so that Grand Moff Tarkin the character portrayed in the original 1977 film could appear in this film despite the actor who originally brought him to life being dead. Now some people seem to have a problem with this Catherine Shoard has written an artile for the Guardian online where she offers the oppinion that ''Rogue One’s resurrection is a digital indignity''one which should not have happend.  She makes what I must admit is a half way decent argument that ''The dignity of death ought to be preserved'' but isent acting itself a form of digital imortality? Peter Cushing might be dead but you can pick up any of his old films and watch them today or tommorow or in 10 years time.
For a start it needs to be noted that Peter Cushing's family gave the filmmakers permission to use his likeness. Yet people will ask what woud Cushing have thought about it. Well there are a few things I will add to this for you to thing about for one. Peter Cushing was very deeply in love with his wife, she was his world and the way he felt about her was genuinly heart warming, he talked about her after her passsing with a look which seemed to contain both a smile and a tear, he apparently wrote letters from both of them even after her pasing and In 1986, he wrote to Jim'll Fix It to request that a rose be developed in memory of his late, dearly beloved wife, Helen. This was granted and a rose was developed specially in her honour and was named ... Helen Cushing. The Helen Cushing rose was a cross between Silver Jubilee rose and a Deep Secret rose and was pink in colour, it was Cultivated by a man called Christopher Wheatcroft who used to own a garden center in Notingham. He created this rose by removing the pollen from the Silver Jubilee roses and using them to polenate the Deep Secret Roses this sounds like it would be easy to replicate but no itse not its complicated because you never know how much of the DNA from each rose will be dominant. The Helen Cushing Rose was created, I would argue that Peter Cushing wanted part of his Wife's beauty an spirit to live on in this rose and to touch others the way she had touched his life, and if this is true then I cant see him having any issue with the use of his likeness to bring pleasure to others.

I can not say that Cushing would have agreed with this use of his image or with my oppinion but I do think you should at least consider what he would want and try to learn a little about him before jumping in to the argument.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

My thoughts on my new Megadrive/Genesis Everdrive

OK so here it is my brand new EverDrive or to give it itse full name the Everdrive V3.6 Sega Megadrive Flash Cart. It came with an 8 Gig Sd Card and cost me £40 including shipping. All I actually got was the cartidge and SD card the box you can see well I made the cover myself but the cool little minature case itself is actully a case for the Japanese version of Batman, no idea why but Batman over there came in this cool little size case and for some reason I ended up with an empty one of these cases and up until now it had just sat with a random game cart in it but I thought with its small size it would make a good case for the Everdrive.

Well first things first why did I get a EverDrive? A lot of it was the fact that I now own around 200 megadrive games and with some of them being rare I thought it might be better just to put all of my games on this and let the real ones have a rest, the less I touch them the less wear and tear they will get yet with this device I can still enjoy them. I also figured I could try some homebrew and a few hacks, today for example I was playing an unfinished beta version of streets of rage 2, it had a lot of diffrences from the one we know and love but you could see the building blocks of what would become one of the best games for the system and getting to see stuff like that intrests me. Sure I could have played this beta on an emulator but there was something cool about playing it on a real megadrive on my big TV with a official pad.

So I suppose I should let everyone know how it works, well basically and fogive me if I am getting this wrong here but im trying to keep this simple, theres a memory chip in the cart and you load games on to the SD card, then using the carts software you choose a game from the SD card, its data gets dumped on to the memory chip and then the cart becomes that game. The downside is after choosing the game you wait about a minute while the game is loaded up in this way but then once its going its just like your playing the actual cart, there is no slow down or issues that I have seen in the slightest and I have tried a lot of games out, the only game I  know doesnt work with it is Virtua Racing due to the expensive extra chip that this had in it. Another brilliant part of this is that you can also load and play Master System games with this device which is brilliant especially if there are a few Master system games you want to try out but your not intrested enough to want to invest in an actual Master System.. If you own a 32X you can also put 32X games on it and plug this in your 32X and play them but I dont own one. The thing both looks and feels well made, I was worried that it might look kind of tacky or more modern than the good old megadrive close up but no it actually looks the part in everyway.

I have to say I only just got this thing but I absolutly love it and it is going to make life a lot easier in quiet a few ways, I can try strange hacks and homebrews I otherwise might not have botherd with, I can litteraly put my whole collection on it and keep my games safe, I can take this one small cart to my friends houses instead of lugging a bag full of carts and still be able to have every game I want with me without having to worry about either space or loosing an extremly rare and obscure title.... all in all I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

Monday, 19 December 2016

A rambling Post.. The New Days Record, Halo 5, Christmas, Pokemon Sun and the MegaDrive Everdrive I am waiting for.

Ok so this is going to be a bit of a rambling post its just a collection of a lot of diffrent things that have crossed my mind in the last few days a bit like a crazy journal/diary entry, not that I have ever kept one. Some of it is about this blog and other bits are about things I usually talk about on here so here goes. Oh if you dont want to know about day to day stuff feel free to skip it I will be back to talking just about games and horror soon enough. Also I am going to cover diffrent topics here so if you personally dont enjoy something I am talking about dont worry just skip to the next bit.

Well here for a start is a quick bit for anyone who read my Post about The New Day getting close to beating Demolitions record for the number of days a team has held the WWE Tag team championships for in one uninterupted reign, in case you hadnt heard they beat Demolitions record and then promptly lost the belts. How do I feel about this? Well I guess the best answer would be conflicted. On the one hand The New Day have worked really hard to push the gimic they were given and have actually had some very good matches, they have also pushed a lot of merchandise and been good for business and well I would like to congratulate them. Yes I know Wrestling is scripted so someone could gain or loose belts at the drop of a hat so some people would say they held them so long because it was decided they would but its not that simple. The New Day had to work hard to get themselves over and to earn the companies faith and to get a big enough reaction from the fans to be kept in that position so I take my hat off to them. I feel sorry for Demolition though as they no longer have that record and its not like they are in the WWE Hall of Fame and proberbly wont get to go in it. I mentioned a law suit where wrestlers were taking WWE to court in a class action in relation to concusions well Demolition are a part of that so I cant help but feel there record was broken partly as a way to punish them for daring to stand up to the WWE on this matter. Like many things in this post I wanted to briethly talk about this but didnt think it was worth a lone post.

I write a post on here once a month to say how much I have spent on retro games, but I dont really talk about other stuff that I buy, or I might talk about it if its a film or game I decided to review but I dont go ''oh I got Night of the Living Dead on Blue Ray Today and it cost me £3.50''. This is mostly because it would get a little boring if I did that in my oppinion. I do however obviously buy modern games, fims and even books so with that in mind, around Halloween I accidentally purchased Puppet Master 2 on Blue Ray, now you might wonder how someone can accidentally pick an item up and take it to a till and pay for it, well the truth is with the way the cover is, big picture at the top and the movies title at the bottom, well where they had stuck the price sticker it had coverd up the 2 and I had assumed I was buying the first Puppet Master. I sorted this out today by simply buying Puppet Master and then Puppet Master 3. I havent watched any of them in years but have fond memories of them so you can expect to see something related to them on here soon, not sure if I will review them one at a time or do one big article on them in general, and when I say soon I mean sometime after Christmas after all it wouldnt be Christmas if I didnt try to watch Gremlins, Krampus, Home Alone, Its a Wonderful Life and other holiday related films like that would it?

Speaking of Christmas I have obviously been doing the same old things that everyone does, I have been buying and wrapping presents, yes I had some of them ready before december in fact I would say like 75% of stuff had already been got but I have had to sort though it, wrap it and exchange gifts. It has been hard to get very festive though because the holidays have brought added work stress and social stress and I just know that once they are all gone and dusted things will settle down a lot more so that kind of has me looking forward to the end of the holiday period more than I am actually looking forward to Christmas itself. I did breath a sigh of relief when I got through what I believe will be my biggest pain in the butt holiday related shift and I even attended a Carol service with my daughter and my girlfriend. Also am I the only one who finds the whole present thing super super stressfull? I just handed over the last presents I needed to deliver a day or so ago and they were to my girlfriend, now there are some which I hope show that I actually listen to her and know what she likes and care about her and then there are some sort or just pleasent fillers, little bits and pieces but I really wish that instead of waiting till Christmas she would just open them all now because a little part of me is terrified I havent got enough of them or the right things, and its not just hers this is how I feel about what I have gotten everyone. Christmas can be a real stresser with work and present shopping and trying to keep on top of everything. Then there has been all the food buying, the freezer is full, the back room table is coverd and I had all my timings down and ready to try to cook the best christmas dinner I can, but then I have been saved at the last moment by my brother who has invited everyone around to his so in the first time in years I will be able to just sit and kick back and enjoy a Christmas meal someone else has made.

With Christmas looming ever closer and the chance I could either be given an Xbox One game or grab another one in a sale I have been looking at getting a new external hardrive as mine is full, I just cant seem to settle on a price and size though so decided that maybe just for now I would be better finshing something so that I could delete it to make way for something else. I decided to do this quiet logically, I looked at what was taking up the most room on my Hard Drive and it was Halo 5 at aalmost 100gigs with the next closist thing being around 60. I had hardly played Halo 5 at all, in fact a lot of my game playing lattly has been more diping in and out of things more than actually trying to finish something but I have knuckled down and finished it now. It wasnt a bad game, I enjoyed it more than Halo 4. I think a lot of this was to do with the character Buck being in it, he is voiced by Nathan Fillion of FireFly fame. I know I know I could have spun talking about this out in to a post itself but I didnt want to talk about it that much, if you want a review I will sum it up as ''hey if you enjoyed the other Halo games then you will like this''. I know I used to do a almost monthly post about the game I had completed each month but nowdays I dont always manage a game a month, sometimes I just make lots of little bits of progress in lots of games, for example at the moment I have also played and completed the first episode of the telltale Walking Dead Michone game and I am something like 28 hours into Pokemon Sun, oh as for a short review for that, If you like Pokemon buy it, its a good game and they have actually tried a few diffrent things here and there to try to keep it fresh.

I have actually orderd myself a EverDrive fo rmy MegaDrive, a device on which I can put megadrive games, hacks, homebrew and the like on to an SD card and then load them up on the megadrive, it is on its way to me in the post but with it being this time of year who knows when I will get it. I am not planning on buying any less games I more just want to play around with it, but who knows it may effect this blog as I might review the odd hack or the device itself or who knows, but I figured it was worth a mention at the moment.

Well for now I am going to leave things here... I worked out the other day that this year I have been posting roughly every 5 days so If I keep this up then maybe there will be another post before Christmas (I would like there to be another 3 but thats not a rate I seem to be managing lattly) but just in case I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

SNES review 107: Out To Lunch

So did any of you visit the fast food restaurant chain Wimpy's here in the UK as a kid? Actually there are still a few of them dotted around here and there so maybe you went last week, I wouldn't be surprised though if there are people that have never even heard of it, after all they are not that common now days and everyone seems to have almost forgotten that there are alternatives to McDonalds when it comes to a burger fix. As many of you will know McDonalds had plenty over the years but the first fast food game I ever remember playing was Mr Wimpy a platformer released on the good old 48k Spectrum back as a kid, why am I mentioning this in a SNES review? Don't worry It will make sense in the long run. Now the bulk of Mr Wimpy was effectively a clone of an arcade game created by Data East called Burger Time in which you ply as a chef called Peter Pepper who walks over burger ingredients to knock them down until they create a burger while being chased by various killer foods like a walking hot dog and a walking egg, I can link this back to Nintendo by telling you that Burger Time got a Gameboy version called Burger Time Deluxe in 1991.

Now you kind of expect weird games on the old spectrum specially seeing as you could buy budget titles for as little as £1.99 so there was room for some stranger ideas to have a chance, but it might surprise some to learn there was a cart based game for a major system about a Chef, how about I tell you it wasn't the only game staring a Chef on the Gameboy, there was another one, and importantly this other one had a SNES release as well or I wouldn't be talking about it (and its name wouldnt be in the title and a picture of its cover wouldnt be above either). So the game I am reviewing right now is a game called Out to Lunch or to give it its full long title Pierre le Chef is... Out to Lunch. Out to Lunch was released for the SNES in 1993 it was both published and developed by Mindscape a company who published a few very good games my personal favourite being the blood filled fantasy game called Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight which I highly recommend everyone to look up, Out to Lunch couldn't be further from that though don't expect Pierre to be slicing anyone's head off here his weapon of choice tends to be a net.

OK so to explain it as simply as possible Out to Lunch is a side-scrolling platform game in which you play Pierre a French chef who has to try to collect the ingredients he needs for his culinary delights by travelling around the world to collect sentient escapee foods.

One thing I need to say is that when you start the game up you will be met with a choice of playing either a single-player or two-player mode/game but it is one of those kind of bollox alternating turn taking two player modes, which I can hardly see the point of. Yeah I am not going to call the game a failure over this but I do think its something that needs pointing out to anyone considering purchasing it.

OK so the objective of each level is to capture a set number of ingredients before a timer runs out. To catch the ingredients you use Pierre's net, you don't just have to catch them and then they disappear and that's it like you might expect though, there is actually a cage in the level you empty them into which is a nice touch. I personally find this game to be absolutely full of neat little touches though, you get these cool little animated skits now and then that are bursting with character, you really start to feel for Pierre as his vegetables run off and leave the poor little fella dazed and confused.

The game is quiet simplistic but its not really a bad thing you can pick it up and have fun playing it straight away. It goes like this at the start of every level, you have to find your net before you can catch the run away food, then you catch the food and place it in the cage and then the door to the next level will appear somewhere in the stage and you go through it, rinse and repeat. Yes it sounds simplistic and it is, but its simplistic in much the same way something like Pacman is, its also a very very charming game.

So far it all sounds very walk in the park but there are of course enemies, there is bacteria and insects trying to get in your way. Its not just you and your net against the world though, no you can also jump on enemies heads to stun them and pick up weapons like hot sauce and bags of flour. You travel the world visiting different countries 8 in total which all have there own set of levels, there own music and feel, it is done very well and helps to keep this basic game fresh and fun. The graphics are simple but charming as is the soundtrack, its just generally a very nice pleasant game. The game handles well, its nice and quick and you never feel like its anyone's fault but your own when you fail and to me that is the hall mark of a darn good game.
So how would I rate Out To Lunch well I give it a very hearty 8 out of 10 and would strongly recommend it, its a fun little game that probably passed most people by, sure its not a Mario beater but its a nice cute fun game which really deserves more attention than it gets. So how much are you looking at if you want this game, well online loose carts tend to go for £15 to £20 usually with boxed copies starting from around the £28 sort of mark. I was lucky enough to get mine from a local indy shop for £15 complete. I think this game is totally worth it.

Monday, 12 December 2016

The NES mini and Why it is OK to question a companies decisions even if you love them.

Ok so you might see this picture and if you are a regular reader of my blog you might be thinking why is he on about the NES mini again? Yes I  already coverd it in his post about the NES mini and the AT games Megadrive, well I am actually writing about it because of something I saw posted in a Nintendo Street Pass group, I wont go in to too much detail about this group as some of what I say could be considerd highly critical of them and I dont want to turn this in to some kind of slagging match, I instead just want to talk about the issue/issues that were raised.

I have already talked about if the NES mini is worth its price of £50 or not, I mentioned that it came with 30 games on it but no way of adding any more, I also added the fact that it can not play the original NES cartridges. I also mentioned that for your cash you get the machine a HDMI cable and one joypad. What I didnt mention is that you get a USB power lead. Now it had kind of slipped my mind/attention that you get a USB lead to power it and you either need to plug this lead into something it can draw power from (the USB port on a telly for example) or you need to get an adaptor to allow you to plug it into a regular plug socket. Well the idea for this whole post started with someone complaining that Nintendo did not supply the adaptor to turn the USB cable into a fully functioning regular plug, now you would expect this to be met with a response on the lines of one of the following ''well it kind of sucks you dont get the plug but youll proberbly have one in the house for a phone or something you can use'' or ''well it kind of sucks but at least you can buy them relativly cheaply''. What kind of response was this actually met with, well it was met with one saying how Nintendo are in the right for not supplying the plug and that they are actually doing us all a favour by not supplying one and that we should indeed be gratful for there generosity because if they had included a plug then they would have had to add another £10 on to the price, and instead they are allowing us to choose if we want to buy one seperatly or not. Now some people might think that there is a little bit of merit in the response after all extra pieces do cost extra cash, but then stop and consider the fact you get reasonably decent USB plugs in pound land for £1 and Nintendo is a huge company who can have things mass produced, its proberbly saving them 50pence per unit to not include a plug adaptor so no it shouldnt put the price up by £10 to put one in the box at all an considering this they could quiet easily raise the price of the machine by 50pence and it not really make much of a diffrence or heavens forbid they could foot the bill and loose a smidgen of profit but gain a little bit extra customer respect.

Well I wrote a response to this effect saying that with the lack of a plug added to the fact that the pads wires were not long enough and that if this was a problem for you then you were expected to purchase extension cables it just felt like Nintendo had been a little greedy in this instance considering that its not exactly the most sophisticated piece of hardware. I mean lets face it rinky dink little companies have been making NES clones with lots of games 2 pads and in some cases even cartridge slots for a long time and most of the time asking for a darn lot less than £50, yes they have been unoficial and some of them asthetically lacking but still if some pirate company with limited resources can churn them out cheap then Nintendo have clearly plucked the figure of £50 out of thin air. I was met with a response which reminded me that the NES mini was intended as a collectable more than a truly functional machine and added that Nintendo was tottally jusified in there price and all of there business decisions, that if I did not like the price I simply should not buy one and that Nintendo was very generous giving resources to 3DS street pass groups. Kind of funny isent it that a runner of a street pass group should both jump to Nintendo's defense with so much vetrol and also mention how generous they are in helping street pass groups. It makes one stop and wonder does he want to support Nintendo because they do so much for him and he feels in debt to them or is he in some way bound to jump to there defense is it in the terms of something he has signed? I dont know and if I claimed to know I would be talking utter rubbish but it does make you think doesnt it? I would have responded to his response but it dissapeared as did my original response as did the entire thread, leaving me wondering why, does he have to remove things which might paint Nintendo in a bad light or did he simply want to have the last word by throwing a tantrum and deleting things?

I wont be naming this person or the group itself, yes I have said what kind of group it is but there are lots. I am not writing this to have the last say, I am sure more people are a member of that group than will ever read my blog. So why am I writing this? Well I think it is always important to think about everything you hear and read about a Video game company, to think why you hold the oppinions you do and if any of them are effected by blind loyalty. I think it is important that consumers always question companies and dont just follow blindly. I will use the example I have many times in the past but look at the XBOX One's original launch information, it was going to launch with all kinds of really draconian limitations, things to stop you lending your friends games without jumping through hoops etc and what stoped them from doing this? Well partly the fact that there main rivals decided to be far more liberal with there policys but mostly the fact that there own fan base turned around and refused to accept what they had been told the fact that people protested, they argued and they made there oppinions heard, and did this hurt Microsoft? No not at all after people stood up to them Microsoft dropped these stupid ideas and people actually purchased the Xbox One people who otherwise would not have. I will end this with some simple words just because you love a company and the things it produces and has produced it does not mean that you cant compalin or question one of there decisions.

Friday, 9 December 2016

SNES review 106: Primal Rage

As a kid I absolutely loved Dinosaurs, I liked everything about them, there size there power the fact that there were so many different types it just blew my mind, you can imagine when I discovered transformers and met the dinobots I thought life could not get any better than getting to see big dumb robotic Dinosaurs pulling Decepticon planes out of the sky, breathing fire and generally wrecking things.

Life as a youngster was very much a sequence of finding one thing after another that would grab your attention and make the days seem better and better another of these things when I was slightly older was Street Fighter 2 and the other various one on one fighting games which followed in its wake. A lot of the games of this type for awhile seemed to fall in to one of two camps either those that tried to keep looking sort of anime inspired (Street fighter, Art of Fighting, etc) and those that attempted to look as real as possible the most famous and the one that started that kind of trend being Mortal Kombat. So you can imagine how excited my tiny little mind was when there began to be news that a game called Primal Rage was being developed for the Arcade by Atari and that it would be a versus fighting game featuring Dinosaurs... and what is more not cartoon Dinosaurs but ones done in a very MK looking style so that they would look as real as possible, it was going to be Mortal Kombat but with Dinosaurs instead of Ninja's this was just mind blowing to all of us back then, it was like one of those kind of dream video game ideas you would come up with when talking to your friends the sort of thing you'd spend a whole day chatting about but then sigh knowing it would never be made yet here we were all met with the announcement of what we saw as pretty much MK Dino Wars (yeah there made by different companies and not related but look at it through a sugar high prepubescent pre-internet filter and it makes sense).

So Primal Rage has a bit of a story and it goes like this You are on a post-apocalyptic version of Earth called "Urth". On Urth Dinosaurs (and a giant monkey) are battling each other to determine the fate of the planet..... This plot made the game appeal to me even more because lets face it plot wise it is basically a B-movie, on Paper this sounds like a recipe for gold a Dinosaur featuring, B-Movie plot owning one on one realistic looking beat em up what could go wrong?

Players control one of seven large beasts that battle each other to determine the fate of the planet. Matches feature many of the conventions of fighting games from the era, including special moves and gory finishing manoeuvrers. Various ports were released for home consoles and personal computers but I am obviously talking about the SNES version, as far as I remember they wernt really that different but I haven't looked at any of them before writing this to verify that, I just seem to remember them all being pretty much the same. Sure this wasn't the first time a game was on everything of course but it did seem to be everywhere and get a big push.

Now I have to start with the games graphics because these were pushed as being a big selling part of the game and in total honesty they were pretty darn cool for the time and in all fairness I still think they don't look bad, they certainly could have aged a lot worse. The backgrounds are good, and so are the sprites, they are close enough to the arcade that if you go from the arcade version to the home yes there might be some differences but not enough that the average person will really care. The game has a real sense of depth yes its a 2D game but somehow it feels like a real world with depth. Unfortunately, there is one real issue here and that is the fact that a lot of the dinosaurs/combatants kind of resemble each other, I think that there could be a lot more favourite and its a shame I have to say that when there is only 7 of them, if there were more fighters and some of them were just sort of pallet swaps it would be a lot less of an issue for me.

Oh I have to stop and mention one of the little things I really love, there are human worshippers who run around in the background, you see them at times get thrown around and even eaten it is kind of awesome. On the other side though the game tends to have a sort of sluggish feel which I think is down at least in part to its frame rate.
I will just quickly touch upon the games sound to say that it is OK, there are a few decent beats and the odd roar you would expect but it could be so much better its just all so average.

It is really the gameplay where Primal Rage falls down, its not that its a bad game, its more that it is an average game which just needed more polish, it feels kind of hollow and unbalanced and I am afraid that on machine with games such as Street Fighter 2 and Mortal Kombat it just feels poor in comparison. Certain characters seem to have moves which have a much better reach than others and its quiet easy to win by being cheap, the combo system seems pretty poor if you want to see a combo you kind of feel like you need to bang the buttons so fast that you cant really learn what you are doing .

I would give this game a 5 out of 10 and just say that it is very very average, sure you could do worse but you could also do a lot better. I got my copy from a market for £3 and that felt like a pretty reasonable price for it.. having looked online if your after it you can typically look at spending about £5 for a loose cart if you should spend that or not probably depends how you feel about average games.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Should The New Day beat Demolitons record of 478 days as tag team champions?

If  there is one thing fans of wrestling have learned it is that the WWE have a major hard on for getting members of there current roster to break title records, heck we are even teetering on the edge of getting to see Cena beat Rick Flairs record of 16 world title reigns. This is not the record I am going to be talking about now though.

If you have been paying attention to the things they have been saying on Monday Night Raw then you will have heard mention that The New Day are getting ever closer to reaching/beating Demolition's record of 478 days as Tag Team champions. Now The New Day have proved themselves to be incredibly popular with sales of there merchandise being a real money spinner for the WWE, so I can see why they have been given such a long run and come December the 13th they will have equalled Demolitions Record and if they can make it to the 14th then they will have beaten it but should they?

I was and always be a massive fan of Demolition and I think given that they hold this record and that they were one of the most important tag teams during a period in the WWE's history when the tag division was very talent rich it is a huge shame that they are not in the hall of fame, heck the bushwhackers who were a very comedy heavy team from back then have made it to the hall so why haven't Demolition? Well I think part of it is the fact that both main members of Demolition have had some disagreements with the WWE in the past in fact both of them are currently a part of what I would refer to as the Concussion lawsuit (a bunch of X-WWE wrestlers taking WWE to court in connection to the WWE allegedly ''neglecting the health of there performers'' which I have previously mentioned on this blog. By letting The New Day beat the record the WWE would practically eliminate the need to talk about Demolition in the future when it comes to long impressive title reigns as they would from this point forwards refer to the new day instead, it also allows them to manufacture big moment when the streak is beaten. The truth is as great and loved as Demolition was to some of us to Vince they were pretty much just his rip off version of the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom who he was happy to make vast piles of money from until he could get his hands on the real thing. I personally would argue that even if in some ways Demolition started out as Road Warrior clones in some ways they went far beyond this and became a wonderful historic team in there own right and its a darn shame if people don't see them in this way. 

In answer to the question of if The New Day should beat the record or not how do I feel? Well if they are being made to beat it in an attempt to try and erase demolition from history then no it shouldn't happen, as that would be a very shitty spoiled baby move by the WWE as despite who wins or losses the lawsuit Demolition was still a great team who brought some absolute fantastic moments to WWE television/Events and they should be placed in to the Hall of Fame were they belong instead of being airbrushed out of history. If the streak could be broken without negatively effecting Demolitions legacy then I don't really have an issue with it, however I would argue that it would be an even bigger swerve to have them loose at the very last moment surprising the fans and robbing the New Day of the record, there is so much you could do with this from a story point of few so many ways you could use it either to change the group or well lets face it there have been whisperings for a long time about the group splitting up because WWE sees a particular member as having a future as a single wrestler, maybe make the loss this persons fault and see him thrown from the New Day?

Regardless of it the record is broken or not I will never ever forget Demolition, it is time for them to go in the Hall of Fame because there comes a point were if you keep the best of the best out of the hall due to personal grudges and petty squabbles then you actually majorly damage the credibility of the hall itself.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

My Retro Video Game Purchases for November 2016

After last months quiet month I started the month wanting to get a bit more stuff, I didnt want to pay stupid money though, I wanted to stick to my usual dont buy anything I cant get for a price I consider to be good rule, yes I was willing to buy online but only if I kept to this rule online as well as offline.

Well my November purcashing started on the 4th. I went in to a charity shop and got the following PS2 games boxed complete for 49pence each , True crime streets of LA, SSX 3, Smackdown here comes the pain, Smackdown vs raw, and smackdown vs raw 2007. From the same shop I also got Commanods 2 men of courage complete for the original xbox for 49pence. On the same day I visited a pawn store and spent £5 on a cart of Star Wars Episode 1 Racer for the N64.

On the 7th I recieved a copy of Gunship for the megadrive boxed complete which I had brought online for £3 with free postage. I also popped into my local CEX on the way home from work and got Williams Arcade's greatest hits cart only for snes for £7, quiet a lot to pay for the games on the cart but pretty cheap compared to how much this cart sometimes goes for.

On the 11th I visited a friend who lives in a diffrent town from me and while there I popped into his local CEX, here I managed to grab a few DS games I have wanted for quiet awile but never had the chance to grab at good prices. I got Cop The Recruit for £2, Magical Starsign for £3 and Children of Mana for £5 all of them complete. I also grabbed Total CLub Manager 2005 still sealed for Xbox  for £1 from a charity shop down the road from CEX. When I got home I found out thata copy of AAAHH!!! Real Monsters for Megadrive cart and case missing the manual that I had paid £6 for including postage had arrived while I was out.

On the 12th I went in to a charity shop and got Hitman Blood Money complete for xbox for £1 and Medal of Honour rising sun complete for ps2 for 49pence. I then went to a little indie store and spent £5 on a cart only copy of  1080 Snowboarding for  theN64, I  proberbly could have found it a little cheaper but I was on a way to a friends to play N64 togther and  really wanted to have a bash on it again and to show it to him without having to wait around for it to arrive from somewere and wait till the next time I was headed to his.

On the 16th I got something through the post I had orderd a few days before a cart only copy of
Lamborghini for the N64 for £2.75 including postage, its a game I didnt own and it was cheap so figured I would give it a bash.   
On the 17th I had two things I had orderd arrive in the post one was TaleSpin boxed for the NES but missing manual for £10 (including postage) and the other was Global Gladiators for the Game Gear complete for £3. The thing is you seldom see NES games at a decent price, its got to the point when you see a old horribly stained and label ripped catridge only copy of a sports title and shops tend to want at least £8 for it so to see one of the old Disney titles for this cheap with its box was just awesome.

I got a fair few things on the 18th the first two arriving in the post The lucky dime caper starring donald duck for Game Gear complete for £2.65 (including postage) and MRC: Multi Racing Championship for N64 complete for £4.50 (including postage). I also got a pile of PSP stuff for £8.30 from an indie that wanted shut of there psp stuff, Thrillville, 50 cent bullet proof, Bliss Island, Space Invaders Evolution all complete, Dark Stalkers chronicle the chaos tower boxed but missing its manual and then 8 copies of TalkMan 7 of which were still sealed, might sounnd weird but I figured that some of my RPG's and such could do with nice new cases.

On the 20th I got Solstice for the NES boxed complete for £12, again it is just great to see a NES game I didnt own for a good price, it was from an indy store, and in fairness I was quiet suprised because a lot of the other games they had for the NES were a lot more for just the carts (For example Top Gun Second Mission cart only for £20).

On the 21st, I picked up a copy of The lucky dime caper starring donald duck for Game Gear cart only for £1 from an indy games store.... yep recently I got it boxed but how often do you see game gear carts in general this cheap? Plus it also means I can put the boxed one well out of harms way and just grab this one to use in my Game Gear. I also got GodZillia Destroy all monsters melee for Gamecube complete for £6 including postage, I had orderd it a few days ago but I never count my games till they arrive and I make sure they are Ok. It seems like a long time since I got something for the cube that I really wanted, which is a shame as the Cube is a machine I have a real soft spot for. This potentially makes it one of my favourate puchases of the month, not only is it a cube game I wanted but Godzillia is just awesome in general.

On the 25th (Black Friday) I went in to a charity shop and got Spyro enter the dragonfly complete for ps2 for £1  and Crash wrath of cortex (platinum version) complete for £1. I also had a second copy of Lamagini arrive for the N64 for £2.50 including postage cartridge only that I had orderd arrive, I had orderd it to take to a friends to use on his N64 but he has gone and sold his N64 oops (call me weird but If I am going to go take a game to a friends I like it to be a spare copy just incase anything happens to it etc).

On the 28th I purchased a  small bundle of Wii games for £18 from a charity shop, as the switch is not far away sod it im considering the cube retro... This bundle contained Wii sports (in card board case) and then the rest of these wii games complete, Mario Galaxy, Mario Strikers Charged, Wii sports resort, zelda twilight princess, no more heroes, Star Wars force Unleashed, resident evil umbrella chronicles, and Worms a space oddity.

So I ended the month having spent £114.13on retro games which is actually somewhat of  a return to form for me after having spent a relativly small amount last month.