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10-Yard Fight Review

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What Are You Supposed To Do?

Much easier to understand than most games of the era, 10-Yard Fight is a simple football simulation.  Your goal on the offense is to run the punt return as far as possible without getting bogged down by the defense attacking you.  During a punt return your players will surround you phalanx-style and allow you to get as much yardage as possible before getting tackled.  When on the offense you can run or pass the ball and attempt to score a touchdown.  On defense, you select one of two defenders with either A or B and attempt to sack the quarterback or person in control of the ball.


They’re moving at a snail’s pace, but go on, scream “Go! Go! Go!” anyway. You know you want to.

Full disclosure, I suck at football games.  Having said that, I understand even the more complex rules and plays in the game so I haven’t had much issue with football titles like Madden, but I’m never any good at them.  Thanks to varied difficulties, a surprise for me, I was able to play against a “high school team” instead of the “professional team” or “Superbowl team”.  Not only were these descriptors amusing ways to select how hard the computer-controlled opponent would be, but it allowed me to actually win at a football game.  Being a very early football sim, the simplicity of 10-Yard Fight is also the key to its addictive gameplay.

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Written by Fred Rojas

January 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

Posted in NES, Reviews

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So now you want to import consoles and games, do you?  Well you’ll be happy to know that it is entirely possible on most consoles, however there are some things you’ll have to be aware of before you do it.  This article discusses the different things you have to do to both the electric and video signal of various imported consoles.  It will also briefly discuss how to get foreign games to play on US consoles, if possible.

Electricity Differences
No matter what console you are using, it’s important to know the differences between electricity in the US, Europe and Japan.

Japanese Consoles in the US
As you’ll see plenty of times in this article, Japan is quite similar to the United States in many ways, including power.  We use 120 volts as our standard for power.  Japan doesn’t appear to use a ground (or at least none of the Japanese consoles I’ve ever gotten do, never been to Japan itself), so all plugs from Japanese consoles will be two-pronged and fit in an US outlet.  Also fortunate is the fact that most consoles, especially retro ones, will use AC adaptors that work in the US.  Never interchange US power supplies into Japanese consoles, you could fry the console or worse.  For example, if you import a Famicom, use that console’s AC adaptor and not an US NES one.  For newer consoles like Japanese PS2s and PS3s, you may want to check the back of the console, but I think those are good for AC 100-240 volts for worldwide distribution, but I could be wrong.  Basically if it generates heat, be very careful and do a search for advice from a reputable source (no, Yahoo! Answers is not a reputable source).  Also if you want to be completely safe, there are Japanese voltage converters that allow use of Japanese products here.

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Written by Fred Rojas

December 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Generation Gap: Import Edition

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So you’ve decided you may be interested in this import scene, huh?  You may want to see what the other regions have to offer?  Perhaps you just don’t know what’s out there and you’re just curious.  Well here you go – a wrap-up of some of the most popular consoles overseas that didn’t quite it over here.

Sega SG-1000 – Released in: Japan, Europe – Launch: 1983
Sega and Nintendo have been up against each other since day one, literally.  While we didn’t see the NES over here until at least 1985, Sega’s first console, the SG-1000, released day in date alongside the Famicom (NES) in Japan.  A cartridge based system that had nearly identical hardware to the ColecoVision, Sega’s first outing is most notable for having a solid Donkey Kong clone (Congo Bongo) and some of Sega’s top arcade titles.  I’m fairly certain that Flicky made its first home appearance thanks to the SG-1000 as did Monaco GP.

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Written by Fred Rojas

December 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Day 9

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On the ninth day of Christmas my memories gave to me…

A 9-in-1 Game Cart!

My father was born and raised in Costa Rica (hence why I’m half Costa Rican), but I was pretty young for the first family vacations back “home”.  Near the end of the NES era, a bunch of family members on my mother’s side as well as my immediate family celebrated Christmas in Costa Rica.  There were lots of subtle differences to American culture there, but none more interesting to me than imported knock-offs.  If you were to enter little toy shops in and around central hub city San Jose, you could expect to see items cheaply made and imported from Asia.  I still remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures I picked up (all 4 for about $15) that had Chinese all over the box and looked a bit off-center with its paint job.  They all broke by the end of the trip.  There were also video games, of course, and I couldn’t help but check them all out.

For like $50 there was an NES that was painted all silver, more boxy (I later discovered it was the Famicom design) and had controllers and a zapper permanently wired into them.  Not only that, when you turned it on it had 101 games built-in, which I didn’t pick up because I had an NES already and this console wouldn’t work with cartridges.  What I also saw was a slew of “x-in-1” cartridges that contained some of the console’s best games all together.  It was old school pirating at its best – take a bunch of smaller older games and thanks to new technology put them all into a single cartridge and sell them in foreign countries.  I remember buying one for my NES, probably a 76-in-1, that I could have sworn had 76 individual titles but I later discovered there were only like seven games repeating on a list with different names.  I also bought a Game Gear 9-in-1 (pictured above) for my buddy, which was amazing because it contained Sonic the Hedgehog and a handful of arcade ports.  I wasn’t really trying to be kind, but it was like $20 and I used to love borrowing his Game Gear, now I gave him a reason to be forthcoming with it. 

This trend would continue in gaming moving forward to as recently as this generation with Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection and several others.  In addition, I still see 30-in-1 Genesis systems and 50-in-1 Atari systems for roughly $30 at Walgreens, which are now legal items that these respective companies have approved.  As is the case with most collections, they were as much a double-edged sword then as they are now.  You have so much selection that you barely spend any time with a single game and never accomplish much other than beating the first level of each title before the system eventually dies.  Costa Rica gave me lots of great memories and views, but it was also my first glimpse at how bad small countries got it in the video game market.  No wonder the Master System and Genesis were so big in Brazil.  Any one out there have some crazy unlicensed all-in-one pirate games?

<- Go back to the eighth day                                Go on to the tenth day ->

Written by Fred Rojas

December 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

Halloween Rarities

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I’m really into lucrative titles, especially when they are about Halloween or horror.  For the most part these games are classic titles from the past that you have either never played or never had a chance to play.  On the plus side, thanks to rom¹ hacks and translations, you can easily find any of these games to play on an emulator.  While I don’t condone piracy, nothing in this list was released in the US save for one title so for a single play to see what you’re missing I feel there’s no harm, especially since you have no other option.  I cannot link any of these roms directly, but feel free to search for “(title of game) rom” on Google and you shouldn’t have any problems.  Without further ado, here’s the list of great Halloween games you’ve probably never played.

Sweet Home (Suīto Hōmu) – Famicom – 1989

Considered by some to be the original version of Resident Evil, Sweet Home is actually a licensed game based on a movie of the same name.  It was developed by Capcom and produced by RE producer Shinji Mikami, who later admitted that Resident Evil began as a remake of Sweet Home.  For many modern gamers, RE is a tough sell with its fixed camera angles, blurry graphics and tank² controls.  If this describes you, then Sweet Home may be the outdated choice for you.  Although developed on the Famicom there is a surprising number of similarities with RE on the Playstation.

Even in 8-bit, the mansion holds that eerie feel

When you change rooms the all-too-familiar door opening animation will escort you through.  The inventory system and puzzles will ring extremely familiar for those that explored the mansion as Chris or Jill.  In fact, the big spooky mansion is probably the most distinguishing similarity, although instead of a biological outbreak it’s merely haunted by the ghost of Lady Mamiya.  And even though it’s technically a survival horror title, the game plays much more like a classic Japanese role playing game (JRPG) with random Final Fantasy-like battles.  If you’ve always wanted to explore a haunted house JRPG style, check this one out, especially considering the decent english translation making the rounds.

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