Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 12, 2014

Email: Cartridges Make For Good Retro Consoles


A while back, I got into retro game collecting, and I noticed that PS1
and Dreamcast games (this was near the end of the PS2 generation) were
much harder to find in shops than N64 cartridges. This is because the
lacquer used on CDs breaks down. The aluminum data layer then oxidizes
and becomes unreadable. Time for this process? About ten years. So PS1
discs are rapidly decaying and failing all at once.

Of course, that console didn’t have that instantaneous “feel” that the
older machines did anyway.

Meanwhile, cartridges last basically forever as long as you don’t
short them out. I collected a decent-sized pile of N64 games, and
every cart but one that I bought worked perfectly. And that one just
needed the leads cleaned.

The non-cartridge consoles also break down much, much sooner. Non-moving parts = much, much longer life span.



A bunch of lame characters including gender swap Marth, some lazy black color repaint of Pit and  the lame lame LAME Bowser Jr. (his alts are the Koopa Kids though at least)  but a lost character from Melee returns………………..Dr. Mario and not Mewtwo you know the one everyone has been screaming for but that would go against Nintendo way’s of not listening to the customer over their “creativity”
Sakurai  even mocked people wanting Mewtwo in one of the trailers by making it seem like some new ninja frog from X/Y was him.
That is the ultimate example of bashing the custormer in with your creativity.
The dog from Duck Hunt making it in is cool at least.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 12, 2014

Email: Exclusive NES Design 3DS? Meh

I could care less about Persona (never liked most Atlus games), and I’m not enough of a Smash fan despite liking the series. But that NES controller design is particularly insulting. Who does Nintendo think they’re kidding here? They no longer adhere to the actual NES standards of old. This is no longer Yamauchi’s Nintendo.
We, the lapsed market, have grown up and moved on.
NES fans aren’t on the 3DS. They were on the DS and Wii and even Gameboy Advance.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 12, 2014

Replaying original Legend of Zelda on original NES hardware

The game actually takes a while to complete. It only gets challenging starting with dungeon 6 with the wizards. Naturally, I haven’t died yet. I only have a couple dungeons left. Only with Quest 2 does the game become somewhat challenging. (If Zelda 1 didn’t have two quests, Zelda 2 would easily be the superior game.)

So how the fuck do I save? I don’t want to kill myself. So how do I save, Mr. Miyamoto? He does not answer. I had to go to the Internet and look it up.

To save: go to start subscreen and click up+start or some button on controller 2 to bring up the save menu. Really!? Now that is just so obvious! I think “how do I save?” and immediately come to the conclusion that I need to plug in controller 2 and press a combination of buttons. Yes, that is such a natural answer.

There is so much mystery in the 8-bit generation that even in order to save your game, you must do secret combos on the other controller.

Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 11, 2014

Email: Nintendo Missed the Boat on Minecraft

This move is curious considering the Microsoft investor rumblings to ditch the XBox division.

I remember buying Minecraft for $15 off of Notch’s site, and then gushing how incredible the game is reminding me even of the sacred Mario/Zelda/Metroid NES classic feel of how a game should be. I never say that about new games. But, here we are in the present, and look at where Minecraft is. Minecraft is definitely at that Mario/Zelda/Metroid NES classic phenomenon level.

Since I was there at minecraft’s beginning, I might as well be there at its end. I think we are at Peak Minecraft. Yes, Minecraft is very popular. So was NES Mario/Zelda/Metroid. People do get tired of a game after a while.

I don’t think Mojang is worth 2 billion. Microsoft must be eyeing the merchandise and all.

I’ve gotten bored of Minecraft and moved on. Others will too. Kids will get bored as well.

Mojang is a one hit wonder company. Also, when you sell a company, it is no longer fun to work for it. Notch and his friends will just make another company. As more and more people drift away from Minecraft, the merchandise line will dry up as well.

When I first saw this video laughed out load and cried a little bit inside.

1) They didn’t even know what it was

2) How to turn on the machine

3) They die to the first encounter with a Goomba in Mario bros.

4) Everyone agrees the console sucks
5) Everyone differs on being tech junkies vs fun junkies.
Here is a video of them playing Mike Tyson’s Punchout
1) I can’t tell if they are being sarcastic when they call the graphics “next gen”
2) Its pretty awesome to know the game can still be appreciated by people for the first time despite its age.  It reminds me when I first played this game.  I was 15 and that was in 2003.  In fact Captain N was depicted as a teenager while playing  Punch-Out.
3) Watch them get TKOs from Glass Joe.
4) “Its so simple to play yet its the cheapness that makes it difficult.”
5) Notice that they get their egos crushed, yet want to play more.
Oh, these videos are hilarious. However, I think there is some scripted reactions in there. I have my nephews play the NES, and I don’t get these reactions.
The girl saying, “I want to hit him in the balls!” Yes, that is how most women sound like when I play with them.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 9, 2014

Email: Retro Gaming

I believe it was last year when you made a post that when people are looking back on gaming it means that current games are not worth it. And I have to say I’ve found that statement to be true. Last Christmas I got myself a Neo Geo because that’s an expensive console I wanted a few years back and whose games are of very high quality, the cartridges and their boxes are quite something to marvel at, they just ooze quality. And even though Neo Geo games are available in various compilations are even on virtual console, NOTHING beats playing a real Neo Geo, the inputs are so, I dunno INSTANT, like there’s no delay whatsoever, this is specially important on fighting games which the Neo Geo has a lot of.

It’s an expensive system for sure, and with many expensive games, the cheapest games go around 50 dlls and that’s without box or manual. But oh is it so worth it, the industry currently can hardly make me spend 60 dlls on something new, let alone used. But this, is so much worth it. Granted, expensive, but very well worth it.

I started doing the Neo Geo game gathering only after my NES and SNES gathering, all awesome games for both systems, I’ll send my lists in due time. There is just so much good stuff, today’s gaming is just so lackluster, risks are so low, costs are so high and standards keep lowering.

Anyway, retro gaming is my new console it seems, because no one is interested in making games nowadays, just their stupid interactive 3D up your ass ‘movies’ with horrible storyline that gets praised by idiotic game journalist on some editorial article praising some ‘gaming god’ or proclaiming some indie developer will become a god in the future.

Here’s to the end of an era, and hopefully it will be reborn in time anew and better than now, because at this rate it will completely disappear than be reborn again.


Ahh, the Neo Geo. Now THAT was a console. I believe it costed $600 and each game cost $100. But the joysticks are amazing.

Neo Geo = fighting games. It has other games, but it is definitely a fighter game console. King of Fighters, Samurai Showdown 2 (I remember when everyone was talking about it, and even Pulstar (R-type 4 spiritually).

Turbographx-16 is for shmup fans. It has other games, yes, but it is shmup heaven.

N64 is for four player multiplayer games like Mario Party, Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, Golden Eye, etc. Yes, it has Ocarina of Time and Mario 64, but I’ve seen the cost of the N64 carts and it is definitely going for the multiplayer ones.

SNES is for people who like arcade games, adventure games, and RPGs.

Genesis is for people who like arcade games and action games.

Atari 2600 for those who love the 1970s and early 1980s era of gaming. Don’t knock it, there are some great games there. Warlords, River Raid, Berzerk, Pitfall, and I think Yar’s Revenge is probably my favorite console game ever. Those sound effects! My God!

NES is the most intense console. NES has everything except it is all tweaked out to intense mode. Instead of Centipede like other consoles, it has Millipede and it is all fucked up crazy. Was playing it earlier today and those snails came up behind me and wrecked my shit. Zelda I and II? Intense. SMB 1,2,3? Intense. The arcade games? Intense. Black box games? Intense. Metroid? Intense. Kid Icarus? Intense. The shmups? Perhaps not the most intense but still intense. The platformers are the most intense. I think the RPGs are pretty damn hard. Final Fantasy I on the NES? That’s what I’m talking about. Those FF1 remakes are all weak sauce.

I wonder if I should do PS1/2 collecting before prices climb too high? Hmm. Some great arcade ports on that system (i.e. the R-types).

But yes, emailer, everything is ‘instantaneous’ on original hardware. You have to try it to believe it. Emulators have their place. But I believe in an ‘all the above’ strategy. Emulators I will use for games that are insanely priced. But for your meat and potatoes games (the real reason why you play the console), they’re all affordable.

As a gamer and not a collector, I look at the games very differently. When I bought Final Fantasy IV for the SNES, it cost me like $70. I still felt it was worth it. A really good NES game at $50 is no problem for me. Contra is around $40 which I still consider a steal. Why do I think that? Well, I know the value of the game after all these decades. $50 today is cheaper than $50 in the 1980s due to inflation. When the NES game goes past $50, then I get reservations. But it depends on the game. SNES games for $60? No problem. Above $60? Depends on the game.


Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 8, 2014

Email: The Retro fever

Hey there Master Malstrom,

I’ve bit the bullet. I’ve caved in. After years dwelling in emulators, I got myself a real SNES last saturday. Let me tell you, it’s quite the feeling. I have to concur when I hear you say that nothing beats the original hardware: it really doesn’t. I got controllers in good condition and have been blasting away on Mega Man X2 and Super Mario All-Stars, and couldn’t be happier.
Now, I got the console mostly for speedrunning, which is something I’m mostly certain you don’t enjoy all that much. I could be wrong, of course. I’m getting my Mega Man X cartridge this Wednesday, and will be practicing to get that fabled sub-40 time in a few weeks.
I know, I know… the SNES is not where’s it’s at, you’ll say. I tend to agree, the NES game variety is much larger, but it’s availability is very limited is my country (Brazil) as it was never a big hit here. I’ll get one next year, most likely, alongside an N64. No “game collecting” bullshit either: I’ll get only the games I find fun AND are affordable (so no Earthbound unfortunately).
I’ve left the game “industry” so many years ago, but having the actual hardware to make the break feels special, that’s for sure. It seems so hard to find a worthy game these days (Hotline Miami being the sole exception in the recent future, from what I recall). Here’s to retro gaming, or as many would agree, actual gaming. At least I’m not watching cutscenes and bad stories.
Nothing beats the original hardware. NOTHING.
I’d focus on getting games and maybe original controllers. The systems don’t seem to be moving much in price. The third party clones also do a decent job too. But it is the games, everything is revolving around the games and not the systems. The game prices will only keep going up. You should check out the price on Mega Man X2. I’m sure it is at least $100+. Maybe $200+ for that cartridge today.
The curious question is will these prices go down? Perhaps when the generation who played those systems at their era die out, then the prices might go down as the demand largely collapses. But that will be beyond our lifetimes so it is nothing to worry about. I’ve noticed there doesn’t seem to be any demand for Atari 2600 cartridges which is a shame. Atari 7800 is somewhat interesting as is the Sega Master System.
Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 8, 2014

Email: Who is paying the game journalists?

Everyone knows that it’s a bad idea to bite the hand that feeds you and I assume the game journalists to be smart enough to know that as well. Over the last weeks we have seen game journalism actively propagate the utter destruction of the perception of what “game” and “gamer” mean. I used to believe that game journalism worked like this: the game industry bribe game journalists to hype up and promote their games, the readers buy into the whole “gamer culture” thing and buy the industry games. Simple enough, and we have seen enough evidence of that.

However, no game company and no advertiser in the world would want the game journalists to outright attack the readers. It is simply not in their interest. So this raises the question: who is feeding game journalism? Where is their money coming from, who is interested in changing the definition of “game” and “gamer”? It can’t be the industry, even they are bowing down to the SJWs (Anita is a consultant on a number of games, just to name one person). Am I really supposed to believe all this to be coincidence? How stupid do they think we are?

It worked for other media, why not for gaming? But gaming doesn’t really behave like other media. There’s a reason why Apple avoids focusing on gaming despite Steve Jobs being a participant in the video game revolution of PONG and Break-Out. Gamers are a ‘different’ sort of people than those who just love movies, TV, and music. And gamers tend not to be pushed around.

Here is some fun reading.


Posted by: seanmalstrom | September 6, 2014

Aonuma is surprised people love Hyrule Warriors’ cinematics

Poor Aonuma!

But one of the things that leaves me with rather complicated feelings is that people are saying, “Oh wow, I really love the cutscenes in this game! This is better than the stuff Nintendo does!” Of course, that leaves me a little conflicted, and gives me a mission now to make sure that the new Zelda game that I’m working on can hold its own in that aspect against Hyrule Warriors!

What are the cinematics? Reader, let us take a look!

That is just the opening cinematic. 

So why are people responding so well to the cutscenes? This is easy.

1) They are all depictions of high fantasy. No tropical island funky bullshit stuff here.

2) The characters all look cool.

3) Link has a sword.

4) Villains are highlighted. They are marching and are portrayed as evil.

5) War is showcased which allows heroism to bubble forth. The player wishes to be a hero, hence the necessity of combat and war.

I am really digging the art style for this game. It is so much better than Aonuma’s crap.

Hyrule Warriors

Above: This is what I’m talking about! Link looks bad ass. Zelda looks bad ass. We can even see evil dragon and other nasties to slay. This is the spirit of how Zelda actually is, not this.

I want to hear reviews of the game, obviously, but I’m pretty impressed by this. If it is considered fun and replayable, I’m interested in buying it. I’m more interested in it than Aonuma’s Zelda U trainwreck (as probability is concerned he will make a trainwreck. Spirit tracks was trainwreck literally).

BTW, the below is very cool. It makes me want to buy Hyrule Warriors, and I don’t own a Wii U!

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