Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category
This week, Nintendo announced the Eastern component to the NES Classic Edition (or NES Mini) that most of us knew were coming. Nintendo did allow some hands on time and offer new information on the NES Classic that will probably apply to the Famicom Classic as well, so check that link above if you haven’t already. The delightful Famicom Mini is officially called the “Family Computer Classic Edition” and it appears to be quite similar to the Western version save for the obvious aesthetic difference, but also with some details and games. Like the NES Classic Edition it will contain 30 games, it does not accept cartridges, and it will retail for ¥5980 (which at time of writing is literally $59.80). Those of you already hoping to import should expect international shipping to be approximately $20-$30 depending on the speed of shipment and retailer. I’ve already checked and no one currently has it on pre-order, although some bigger import sites do have pages for it, but I suspect it will not have a supply problem as the price point for these consoles suggests it needs to sell a large quantity.
Now there are some notable differences that you should be aware of. Of course the games will all be the Japanese counterpart and contain the Japanese versions, but the universal HDMI out means that any HDTV worldwide should easily support either console. On the other hand the USB power supply is not included in the Family Computer Classic Edition and can be purchased for ¥1000 ($10) if needed. Those picking up both versions can most likely use the included NES Classic Edition cable and it’s probably the common micro-USB plug type. Also the Famicom Mini, like the original Famicom, has two controllers wired directly into the console and are not removable. As for games, 8 titles are unique to each region, so 22 of these titles are on both consoles. Here’s a quick list of those and you can expect a video of these region specific titles coming soon.
Donkey Kong 64 has got to be one of the most divisive titles to be released both by Rare and on the Nintendo 64. Depending on how you came to play it, you either love it or hate it. While Jam had tackled this title back when it released, even getting the coveted 101% completion, Fred had never touched it. Thanks to listener Blake (jedislurpee) we played through the game in its entirety and go back to dissect the development, gameplay, and key factors of a title that probably gets more hate than it deserves.
It’s been nearly 20 years since the Nintendo 64 (N64) premiered in the United States. Aside from being Nintendo’s third console, it marked a lot of major changes for both the company and the industry as a whole. Fred and Jam look back on the console that started as Project Reality and eventually became one of the influential pioneers of 3D polygonal gaming.
Developer Aicom had a slew of interesting titles in the late 80s and early 90s, one of which was called The Astyanax or Lord of the Kings in Japan. Oddly enough the game also had one of those infamous ports to the NES that changed and extended the original arcade concept, which Fred loved as a kid. In this episode Jam and Fred discuss their discovery of the arcade original and a replay of the Nintendo port.
There has been much appeal to the hardware side of retro gaming and with so many new products coming out it’s time to get back to basics. While Gaming Tech 101 will have its own feed and episodes, Fred figured he’d give you a taste over here on the GH101 feed. In episode 0 Fred discusses what GT101’s intentions are and then delves into the growing world of NES clone consoles hitting the market. From NOACs to FPGAs and even Nintendo’s own “mini” slated for holiday, it’s all covered in this first preview episode. GT101 will be a bi-weekly podcast.
This week we wrap up Squaresoft’s collaboration with Disney in the original Kingdom Hearts. Fred and Jam wrap up the campaign and then bring in guest Fortengard to discuss the secrets, bosses, and lesser known differences between versions.
This week Fred and Jam celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in North America. The duo delve into the design, hardware, regional differences, and of course the games that defined a major portion of the 16-bit generation. As the show wraps the new game club title is chosen, what will it be?
Despite not being able to do a live show, Jam and Fred get together and record a massive introduction to the original Kingdom Hearts. In this first part the two go over the development, gameplay, and presumably first half of the game (they are just past Agrabah by the end of the show). Sorry for the lack of music, there was something off in the audio file that didn’t make it easy to do, so in the interest of time the show was pushed out sans music.
Here’s a batch of guides Fred created to tell you what to look for when buying a game, how to rip discs to your computer, and how to soft mod a PS2 Phat (hard drive) and PS2 slim (USB).
This week Jam’s pick was Psychic World. An action platformer originally released on the MSX as Psycho World (it was Japan only), this title received wider regard in the West as a Game Gear title and those in Europe may have also played the Sega Master System version. Fred and Jam dissect the development, gameplay, and version differences between this largely forgotten title by an almost unknown developer.