Okay, I know this is strikingly similar to my last blog, but I realized after that while I failed to use some of those cases for that original blog, I could still use them for SNES and N64 games. And hey, I imagine a lot more people have those than Atomiswave and ST-V.
Just to let you know, I tried NES games as well but they unfortunately didn't make the cut. They're just a tad too big. Even though it looked like it would just barely fit at first, apparently you need a good bit more room than 'just barely'.
Anyway, tools: x-acto knife, good set of pliers, printer, scanner (optional, though helpful) and some cheap EA games from your local thrift store, retro store or pawn shop.
SNES games are on easy street. Just cut the tabs where the redish-pink blob ends, then yank 'em off with your pliers, and you're done.
Fits in really nice with almost no effort. The tabs on the other side can kind of grip on to the top of the cart to keep it from sliding around in the case.
Nintendo 64 games have it a little tougher, but considering the lack of thought on Nintendo's part to make these things look good on shelves (why no end labels?) I'd say it's worth the extra hassle.
Cut, then yank and twist the highlighted parts until the pop off. Once you've done that, the cart will just slide in. The remaining tabs on the bottom and top will keep the cart in so it doesn't rattle around like a loose DVD in the last copy of that one movie you really wanted at the department store.
Ta-daa! Now if you can get past the sacrilege of putting Nintendo products in Sega products, you'll have your collection looking a bit more acceptable.
Once again, I got the artwork from thecoverproject.net. You can't just use these on their own as the dimensions aren't right for EA Sports cases. Just scan the original artwork (or measure it very carefully) and resize the front, back and spine to correspond to the measurements of the original case's artwork.
Okay, I know that this isn't really timely or anything. I'm aware that practically none of you on Destructoid have a Sammy Atomiswave or Sega ST-V system. I'm aware even those of you who do probably don't really give a crap about making your games look good on your shelves.
But, ya know what? Bucket. I'm telling you about this crap anyway. I don't really need to, considering there's already a video about it on YouTube, but that vid didn't quite go into everything so I'll divulge some additional info.
Front and back views in the gallery - but this is how you'll see them 99% of the time.
First off, let me warn you about something the video doesn't - not all EA Sports cases work. I spent about $10 on the cases you saw. 2 from a pawn shop for $6 and spending $4 and some change on 6 at a retro gaming store that conveniently enough was having a 30% off sale on their Genesis games. Only four of them could hold either, and one of them could only hold Atomiswave.
If you go looking, look for PGA Tour Golf II and Tony La Russa Baseball. I got two of each of these and they work like a charm. The fifth case was NHL 94, which was only good for Atomiswave. (You'll notice it's the thinner case.) The first two had spines of 1 and 1/4 inch. The third had a spine of 1 and 1/8 inch. Most Gensis cases have a spine of 1 inch or less and will not work.
The Atomiswave games fortunately require no modification. They just go right in the place where the EA Sports game would have gone. For ST-V, though, you'll have to do a lot of cutting and yanking. Mostly yanking, fortunately, you can take most the tabs and other bits and bobs off just by twisting and turning with a big set of pliers. Pull off almost everything except the stuff circled. Use the Exacto knife to cut when you need to, but otherwise try to avoid it. Especially if you haven't had a tetanus shot recently.
Pink makes me feel pretty.
One thing you will need to take note of (that the vid doesn't tell you) is that you need to take at least one of the tabs off of the other side of the box. It just won't close otherwise. Spent a good deal of time trying to figure that out.
Notice I took the top tab out. Bit of the case came off too, but I don't really care.
The artwork was obtained from various sources, but mostly from KLOV.com (check their Flyers section), thecoverproject.net (for example, download the Saturn cover for Die Hard Arcade and then just cut off the Saturn portions), random google image searches and even anime image boards (got the cover images for Cotton Boomerang and Fist of the North Star there).
If you have a scanner, scan the original Genesis cover and put your new graphics on top so that everything is the right size when you print it out. Otherwise, just measure the original Genesis cover and create your custom cover with those dimensions. If you need a graphics editor, Photoshop CS2 and Gimp are free options.
Well, that's all. Hope I helped all two of you out.
Ah, the modern age of gaming. The graphics, the online connectivity, the movie quality voice work and effects, the post-release content ... the complete soullessness of it all. How I loathe it. How I wish I could go back to "tha good ol' days", as if I'm some old geezer in a rocking chair rambling incoherently as it he were reciting an old epic in his head.
When I think about the past of gaming, being a product of the mid 80s and raised in the early 90s, I'd think about how many coincidences happened to get me in there. I'd probably never have got into gaming (as hard as I did, anyway) had I not randomly won an SNES from my elementary school's raffle before the thing even released. Waiting for that excitedly, my dad just happened to have a friend from his work who let me borrow the NES while I waited. Then I went to a flea market and got Kung Fu - which just happened to be made by the same people who made the original Street Fighter and went on to form SNK.
I can still smell the strong mustard on those sausage dogs they served at that dirt mall...
However, ya know, I can always plug up my NES to the tele and still get most of that experience. My memories of Chrono Trigger can mostly be recreated with the original game or one of the many ports that Square Enix has dumped out over the years in a vain attempt at easy money. But ya know what can't be fully recreated with a port to modern consoles or even owning the original hardware?
Well, I'm sure you can use context clues from the title to see where I'm getting at.
All of my strongest memories of gaming come from those massive wooden monoliths. Those electric smile machines. The modern-day nickelodeons. While the arcade industry still exists - and appears to be doing well enough, despite what many say - it's nothing like what I grew up with. Score boards and direct competition is pretty much a thing of the past now, and now everything in the arcade can pretty much be divided up into three groups: the little bit of shooters, the little bit of drivers, and the large majority of kiddie gambling machines masquerading as games of skill.
No amount of cynicism could keep me from spending more than twice the value on getting this damn Nadia figure though...
The reason you can't recreate this magic just by owning the original hardware (and trust me, I've tried... about 15 times now...) is that it was never just about the game. Certainly that's a big part, but another big part was how it was just about everywhere. One of my favorite memories was going to a Pizza Hut while I was in college with friends, and there just happened to be a Neo Geo with Fatal Fury 3 in it. All we wanted was some pizza, yet we got some impromptu slugfest action going. That was always amazing to me - go to a convenience store, and find a VS Super Mario Bros. I remember going to see some movie at a now bulldozed movie theater and finding a Darkstalkers cabinet for the first time. I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT MOVIE IT WAS, but I will never forget playing Darkstalkers for the first time. It was just... magic.
My earliest - and fuzziest - memory was of going to this once busy Wal-Mart and mashing buttons on Street Fighter. I didn't even realize it WAS Street Fighter until years later when I'd see this stage, hear the mediocre voice effects and experience the terrible controls on MAME and a flood of memories came back to me.
The other big part of arcades that can't be recreated is how it would connect all the people involved. It could make friends out of strangers. This was especially the case of any sort of co-operative game. I still have some good memories of playing Die Hard Arcade at multiple locations with many strangers coming up and playing along with me. It's just completely different from having some stranger drop in to help you out in Dragon's Crown, where communication is limited at best. No amount of text or voice chat will be able to replicate standing next to a total stranger at the Skateland.
Even with competitive games, while things could often turn ugly, the sense of having a good rival that you could see, talk with, and maybe even exchange strategies with if they weren't a total douche and actually wanted to better the experience is completely different and completely better than the rage quits, hate mail and -best case scenario - delayed "GGs" messages of today.
The old Aladdin's Castle, as it is today. Time Crisis 2, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Hydro Thunder and so many others used to reside within... now it's a damn photo hut.
Times change, I'm aware of this. Arcades just can't exist as they used to and the games had to change with the times. Challenge, competition and depth used to be the main draws of arcades but now they alienate the majority of gamers who just want cheap thrills that make them feel good momentarily for no effort. I understand the appeal, but it doesn't mean I have to like it.
I'll continue to say it was better back in the day, because by God, it was better back in the day.
Back from MAGFest. Yay, MAGFest. First time there, enjoyed it overall. However, there is something that still lingers in my mind. I went to a panel on gaming communities, going with the intention of helping grow my own FGC. Well, I guess I should have expected it, but - naturally - someone brought up the FGC being toxic. Everyone agreed. Someone else chimed in that someone threatened to rape them at a fighting game tournament. Everyone gasped.
And of course, there was only one person there with a positive view of the FGC: Me. I'm not exactly fond of the entire FGC getting blamed for the transgressions of one or two scenes, because I happen to belong to a fighting game community which is very diverse and very positive. However, being Johnny On The Spot, I didn't exactly have time to premeditate my answer and give anything I felt was satisfactory.
I feel like most people don't really understand the FGC. Certain misguided works from MIT graduates haven't exactly helped that understanding. Then again, I'm probably going to be just as bad because I clearly also have an agenda (although at least I'm being straight forward with it instead of hiding it in deleted tweets), but this has been really eating at me and I can't just do nothing.
Make no mistake, I'm not defending people who make the FGC harder for new players to get into and make others uncomfortable for reasons outside of the game. I'm also not trying to be some "social justice" warrior who wants everyone to tap-dance to political correctness. I'm just sharing how things are so that maybe you'll understand why things are the way they are.
About Me: I've been in the fighting game community since 2010, my definition of "being in the fighting game community" being that from that point on I took fighting games seriously enough to devote real time to improving my skill level and finding others to fight alongside. I'm not a "pro" player, I'm not "sponsored", I've never gotten Top 8 at a major, I'm not even in any of the particularly large scenes. I'm just a player who has been to at least half a dozen different scenes as part of my 'leveling up' process. This is what I've observed thus far.
1. There Is No FGC
A singular entity which represents all those that play fighting games competitively doesn't exist. Rather, the FGC refers to a collection of very loosely associated 'scenes.'
The FGC will occasionally come together for a common cause, such as helping pay for a fellow player's funeral, helping house a player who loses their home, etc. When people point at the FGC in general as being toxic, you can be assured a thousand fingers will be pointing back, as you've effectively accused all scenes as being toxic
Most FGC scenes are at a local level. Sometimes a city, sometimes a state, sometimes a region. In some cases, a dedicated scene may revolve around a specific game, although I find this is usually only the case with smaller, less active games (no real reason to be part of a Street Fighter IV or Marvel vs Capcom 3 specific scene when there are probably two dozen players for each of those in your home town, but King of Fighters XIII and Street Fighter X Tekken players are going to be much more thinly spread out). Though these scenes have their members spread far, they usually come together at major tournaments to play together.
All the scenes are autonomous. They operate independently of each other. There are no 'orders from on high' as there are in other competitive gaming communities, everyone makes their own rules... or don't make any rules at all. They have their own distinct makeup of players and they have their own unique social mores. The Dead Or Alive scene has a larger number of female players than most other scenes while the King of Fighters scene has a larger number of Hispanic players than most other scenes, as an example. Each scene on a local level is also different, even when the scenes border each other the difference can be very radical.
2. Leadership Through Power
Even within each individual scene, there is rarely a person who the community officially chooses to be their representative. This is mainly because one of the common ideas within most FGC scenes is that each member is equal.
However, the idea of equality is contradictory to how leadership is actually decided - through meritocracy. Status is obtained by dominating strong opponents within the game. This is part of what makes the FGC so appealing to some people: gaining status in real life is complex, but in most FGC scenes, all you have to do is win.
With this status comes respect, and with respect comes leadership. The problem is, not all good players are fit to lead. Some don't even want to. Others aren't even aware that they are in a leadership position - not pointing fingers, but I can think of many well-known players right now who are obviously blissfully unaware that people actually look up to them.
This is how it works with the community in general. In the case of events (i.e. tournaments) the leader is the tournament organizer. Some tournaments are large multi-day events that may as well be conventions, and some tournaments are shoe-string budget affairs that meet in the back of a bar on a slow night. Some tournaments are part of a long running series that have a lot of trust invested into them, and others can just form up in a convention's game room with a piece of paper tapped to an arcade machine.
There is no corporate leadership as there is with most eSports communities. While Blizzard and Riot fuel their respective communities thanks to the mountains of cash they maintain, fighting game companies like Capcom can barely keep enough cash in their coffers to make current gen games. Even if they wanted and were able to take control, there would definitely be resistance due to the 20+ years the FGC has operated on their own.
3. You Are (Not) FGC
I consider myself to be part of the FGC because I make a constant effort to attend local and major events, play against stronger opponents and improve myself. I don't consider this to be the only way to be part of the FGC - those who organize tournaments, who stream events, who provide knowledge and assistance for others, or who provide locations for people are also part of the FGC. In my eyes.
But who am I? Nobody. Perhaps you disagree. Perhaps you also consider those that only post on message boards to be part of the FGC. Perhaps you consider players who only play online or with friends part of it. Perhaps you consider those who only watch streams to be part of it.
Maybe you think in another direction - maybe you think only those who were playing competitively before Street Fighter IV came out are truly part of the FGC. Maybe you think only those who consistently win tournaments are part of the FGC. Maybe you think only those who put competition above all other aspects of life are part of the FGC.
Anybody can say they are a part of the FGC if they want to be a part of it. Each individual defines whether they are part of the FGC for themselves. There are no qualifiers you must pass, there are no licenses you must buy, there are no contracts you must sign. With that, it stands to reason you'll get a few troublemakers along with the good folks.
So What's The Point?
My point is that when you call out "the FGC" for doing something wrong, you are calling out the good scenes and the bad. Yes, there are jackasses in the FGC, just as there are in any community. There's also a lot of folks who are trying to be welcoming to newcomers of all sorts. Calling out everybody for the activities of a few isn't going to do anything productive. If you are going to put people on blast, at least specify. You can't attack everything and expect it to eventually trickle down to the offenders, because there is no official structure for it to trickle down with. Shame is a powerful tool. Time and time again, heroes became pariahs when they got shamed, whether it was for harassing minorities or colluding tournaments.
My second point is that, even if you do believe the FGC in general are a bunch of bad apples, that doesn't mean your local FGC couldn't be an exception. Give it a shot. If they are a bunch of jackasses, then be sure to call them out specifically so others can know to avoid them - and keep in mind that another "FGC" is just down the block. If you were like me, though, you'll find a bunch of people who just want to play some damn games. You should play some damn games with us.
Well, ya know, as long as you don't start calling things "cheap," making excuses and refuse to do anything to develop your skills. You can shovel hate on us for mocking you for that all day, we eat that dirt like it's vitamins.
Didn't know whether I should share this or not, considering... ya know... it's just a link an' all. Still, I very rarely see an eBay listing with some humor thrown into it. You might get a chuckle out of it.
Ever played an arcade game - and really, really loved it - and then eagerly bought and played the console version only to find out it was a load of crap? It first happened to me when playing Primal Rage on the SNES - and after that, I unconsciously learned to never fall for this trap again.
However, the generations that followed made me forget these lessons. I became complacent. Lo and behold, I've fallen for the trap again.
Waku Waku 7 is a 2D Fighting Game originally made by Sunsoft for the Neo Geo in 1996- it was then ported to the Sega Saturn a year later. Despite the '7', the game is not a direct sequel to any previous game, although it is a spiritual sequel of sorts to Sunsoft's previous fighter Galaxy Fight.
The gamplay is actually pretty damn good. The game takes elements from other fighters such as Darkstalkers (complete with Chain Combos, Super-charged Specials a la ES Attacks and Super powered "Doki Doki" combos a la EX Attacks) and SNK's various fighters (Four Attack Button set-up, screen zooming and "Waku Waku" Powered Up Forms a la King of Fighters' MAX Mode), while also adding in some interesting new mechanics such as Power Moves which fling the enemy all the way across the arena and Power Move Reversals which allow you to jump right back into the action after being hit with a Power Move.
The most interesting unique mechanic included is the "Harahara Move". Harahara Moves are all easily performed by pressing Down twice followed by either two punches or kicks. While the move is extremely easy to perform, it is hard to use - once activated, the screen will flash with a giant "Caution" warning, sirens will go off, and your character will be stuck charging for anywhere between 2-8 seconds! However, if you get the full charge off, you'll unleash an unblockable and difficult-to-avoid Super Attack which can take off as much as Three-Fourths of your opponents health! As difficult as it is to land one of these attacks, there isn't much else out there that feels so rewarding.
Mauru and Arina's Harahara Moves in action.
The look of Waku Waku 7 is very different from just about every other fighting game out there. While there's only 7 characters (plus two bosses), each of these characters are very colorful, with unique designs and personalities. They're mostly parodies of anime characters, such as the Totoro-esque Mauru, the Jojo's Bizarre Adventure inspired Dandy-J, and the robotic maid (and nurse during in certain moves) Tesse.
The backgrounds are also very colorful, however they were noticeably downgraded for the Saturn port. It's not a deal breaker - in fact, they still look pretty good so long as you are concentrating on the action. However, it is a shame they were downgraded, especially considering this game requires the 1MB Cart.
Sound is also very good. Many of the music tracks are of a very high quality - even higher than the original Neo Geo version. (To be expected, considering the CD format) Sound effects are satisfying, vocals are convincing - just good audio all around.
So yeah - this game is pretty much perfect in every creative area. This would easily be one of the best fighters on the Sega Saturn. However...
The game suffers from a myriad of technical problems, many of them quite severe. The background graphics being downscaled was the least of this title's problems. Loading times are both long and populous. Even going from Round 1 to Round 2, you'll experience a load time. It will surely try your patience.
Even worse than load times, however, is the horrendous frame-rate and slow-down issues. Even when the game is operating at its best, it's a bit slower than the original - playable, but just not as good. However, the game often slows to a snails pace when handling certain characters. This is a death sentence for a fighter, and does a lot to kill the fun factor.
What's even worse is that, this game requires the 1MB RAM cart. Why did they choose the 1MB version when the game came out after the release of the 4MB RAM cart? I've played many games that require the 4MB RAM cart, and they ran both smoothly and without loading times - Vampire Savior and X-Men Vs Street Fighter are two I can think of off the top of my head. From where I'm sitting, I see no reason for this game to not have been an arcade perfect port, utilizing the 4MB RAM cart.
As strange as it might be, I'd honestly recommend playing this game single-player rather than with friends. The slow down and loading issues were easier to overlook while dealing with the AI, and the game is still plenty enjoyable this way. However, playing this with friends is only going to result in people getting pissed off at waiting on the game to load or the frame-rate going completely out-of-whack, and even fans of the arcade original will be begging for you to reach for another game.
RetroGrade: C. Great graphics, great sound, great gameplay - this game should have been an A and considered one of the best games on the Saturn. Unfortunately, the incredible amount of technical issues bring the score - and fun factor - way, way down. It's always a shame to see such an incredibly creative game brought down by a sub-standard port job, but c'est la vie.
For the sake of comparison, this is what the original arcade version played like.