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11:43 PM on 03.03.2012

Curse of the gray elephant: Gaming in Post-Soviet Russia

I stumbled across an interesting youtube video tonight. And no it wasn't one of those reply girls with the boobs.

It is a rather ambitious and comprehensive video similar to AVGN(who Kinaman, aka Pavel Grinev references a bit here) which primarily deals with the Dendy, a pirate famicom console made by the Taiwanese company Steepler.

For a long time, I like many other gamers in the US, accustomed to playing licensed games on licensed consoles, was puzzled by all this. But this video helps to shed light on an era of gaming. Given the way that Dendy and the repurposed famicom games were advertised, it's clear that the average Russian citizen was not aware Dendy wasn't legit.

Grinev's video addresses everything from glitches, hacks, hardware designs, and the marketing of Dendy in Russia. Would you believe that this pirated console actually had its own publication and TV show? Imagine open advertising of licensed consoles and games such as the Sega Genesis and Jungle Strike alongside the "Dendy Classic" and "Super Contra 6"


"Video-Ass Dendy"

The era of Dendy seemed like a bittersweet time in Russia. In one respect, gamers in the newly formed Russian Federation had been given their first taste of the Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 courtesy of Dendy and other such companies. However it was 1992! While they were playing Mario for the first time on monochromatic TVs(another thing Kinaman discusses), many of us were enjoying Super Mario World!

Nothing but respect for the kids who had to grow up on these horrific pirated games. Think Ninja Gaiden is hard? Try playing it with no power ups!

These days with the revival of retro games, even pirate games are getting some love.



I'll admit this isn't the easiest video to watch. Not only is it subtitled(Thanks for accommodating English viewers!) but it is over an hour long. It is fairly entertaining.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/rJQr3tnjHlg   read


8:25 PM on 05.25.2011

Sir Michael of the Rocks will blow your mind

[embed]202038:38730[/embed]

Why am I posting a song by a rapper? Just click play and you should see right away.

First person to identify that sample gets a nice prize!!

I haven't heard much about this "Sir Michael" but his use of game music is pretty interesting. I'd like to see more sampling of this sort!   read


9:48 AM on 10.19.2010

Nintendo's 1992 CES booth reveals early Kirby's Dream Course




Youtube user Digital Neohuman seems to have been to a lot of video game shows, public events, etc. Several of his/her videos are from the early 90s. They are pretty trippy and it's really cool to see all the similarities and differences when compared to these shows today. Nintendo's promotion is... radical. 54 seconds in it gets REALLY apparent what year this was.

The video itself is shot pretty well. Steady sweeping shots of a variety of games and different things. For those of you that were too young to experience the 90s, here it is. The music, the presentations, the clothes, etc.

Also check out more of Digital Neohuman's videos! They seem to be pretty interesting. Not enough attention for these insane clips.

thanks to dtoid user lem's insight, we can see what looks to be a really early build of Kirby's Dream Course at the 2:53 mark. So early in fact that none of the objects or ch   read


8:29 PM on 09.21.2010

Video Game Music Similarities: Double Dragon 2

THIS is really cool and I wouldn't have seen this if it weren't for that promoted comment feature of youtube.

To start, let's take a look at the music from the second stage in Double Dragon 2.

[embed]184567:33400[/embed]

Real kickass stuff, right? I know baby, it sure is. Now add in ninjas, helicopters, and building hopping...

Okay, let's now take a look at Easy Lover by Phil Collins

[embed]184567:33399[/embed]

I guess you can KINDA hear it between :20 and :50, but it's kinda hard to see...

But NOW let's look at the arranged version of the double dragon 2 song, Low Pursuit. Also, any DD fan should definitely check out the arranged album. It's fucking awesome.

[embed]184567:33397[/embed]

Yea, if you click the link you can see others put the connection together much earlier than I. So credit goes to them.

Also, if you visit the Easy Lover wiki entry, it has an interesting note for the Double Dragon 2 song. Dunno about its validity but you can attribute the tip to youtube as well.   read


5:01 PM on 09.18.2010

Street Fighter 3 & Alpha 2 Stages in 3D via iPad

So I saw this video the other day on youtube. Very cool shit. I loveeeeee the diorama effect. Reminds me of back in the day when I had to make them for 4th grade science. Recreating Jurassic mayhem on a 1/100 scale was quite awesome.

Personally SF3 and SFA2 are two of my favorite titles from the series. The former has a distinct, clean, and polished style that's all its own and really stands out from most other titles. There's just enough innovation to keep it from feeling alien but at the same time fresh and new. Everything from the combat to the music is quite unique and it's quite awesome.

Also, watching this person create these scenes is really quite cool. Enjoy!

[embed]184326:33315[/embed]   read


8:34 AM on 08.28.2010

New PC system on its way!!

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I am getting a new system. I actually ordered it. All the parts came to 340. Does not include monitor, keyboard, mouse, optical drive, or wireless card. If you include the 1 TB hard drive I bought a few months ago, then it's 370. And windows 7 pro brings it up to 400.(college "student" discount woo!) Here's a list of parts:

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
BIOSTAR TA785G3 AM3 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard w/onboard Radeon HD 4200 video card
AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans
BFG GX Series GX-550 Power Supply ATX, Modular, 550 Watts, 140mm Silent Fan.

After all the combos and instant rebates, shipping charges etc. it comes to 340.

My current video card should be good enough for running games like Mass Effect 2 well. But I will probably buy a nice one early next year or something... Maybe just for Rage.

Don't whine about me not including a new monitor in the set. I mean do you purchase a new TV every time you get a new system? Also it's not hard to find a comfortable keyboard and mouse unless you have like huge sausage fingers. Can't say the same for console controllers though. Also I use the computer far more. Not just for gaming. But also just daily activities including lots of work like writing emails, completing applications, mixing beats to stuff like listening to music(in a personal setting) and playing freeware games. Even my current HL2 era 5 year old system isn't crashing or anything. Although there's a busted sleeve fan inside, it still doesn't overheat and boots up like a charm every time. Can't say the same for my 3 year old wii.   read


10:47 PM on 08.16.2010

Why Computer Gaming COULD be the future.

I've been going through quite a struggle in the current generation of gaming. I've wanted a playstation 3 for quite a while as well as a newer PC(custom made of course). Problem is almost all my funds go towards college loans. Well I've come to the realization that I can't have my cake and eat it too. Many of the recent games I've been playing are ps2 titles, and older ones for the NES, SNES, famicom, super famicom, and famicom disk system(since they're cheap). Been watching several older gamers(around my age, some older) on youtube talk about old shit. Like Lazy Game Reviews:

[embed]181592:32261[/embed]

As a youngin' I thought when I'd be this age I'd be able to purchase systems and games to my heart's delight. But there's too many options out there and too little cash in my wallet. So I talked to my good friend who's been a staunch advocate for pc gaming for the past 10 years. The most recent console he owns is a n64. At first I was antagonistic towards him, saying how a ps3 is a cheaper platform and has more games that I want to play. But little by little, I started to fall in love with pc's again. Let me try to list all the key points that came up during our discussion.

1.) If I were to upgrade my 5+ years old computer to current gaming standards, I would have to pay around 300 bucks.(all those parts pretty much add up to a whole new system) And while a ps3 would also cost 300 bucks, I would still have to pay extra for controllers, and other hardware depending on the game.

2.) While online console gaming has come quite far since the days of SegaNet, there are still several issues that need to be worked out. Several games still experience lag. Many features are left out of games which are commonplace on pc games. (online multiplayer is still new for games that aren't fps's) Online play for console games is heavily dependent on support from the company. Dedicated servers, mods, patches, etc. are far more common with pc titles.

3.) The cost of pc games is generally cheaper. Several games are available on platforms on Steam for insanely low prices practically every week. Also combined with the fact that practically every pc title that comes out now is available for digital release, I no longer have to go 20 miles to the nearest bestbuy to pick up zeno clash when I can simply download it. True story, I actually had to go quite far to find King of Fighters '98 soon after its release. Less popular titles are harder to find due to them being on physical media. Making console game sales heavily reliant on advertising.

4.) PCs as a solitary, stable gaming platform are still relatively new. Watching several LGRs and other's videos, I realized that in the 80s and 90s, several different operating systems were around. This meant that for a long time, games were not simply for "PCs" but for "Tandy compatible" or DOS systems. Also, I always thought that computers originally had more impressive graphics and the technological gap between consoles and computers was decreasing. (in terms of games) However, I noticed that several games out in the 80s and 90s weren't as impressive, popular, or as frequently released as NES or SNES games. Yet, during certain other eras, like the late 90s and early 2000s, there was a definite boom of computer gaming with 3d shooters and online gaming.

5.) Consoles are becoming more like computers. I thought this especially when the 360 came out. Now, even installs are becoming quite common with console titles. No longer do console games have that advantage of being quickly accessible. Consider this:

[embed]181592:32262[/embed]

Look at that. A 20+ year old system with dirty cartridges. STILL, all you gotta do is blow, insert, and turn on. Voila, right at the game's startup screen.

Now Look here:

[embed]181592:32263[/embed]

Loading screens. Sure individually they are pretty fast but look at all the shit you have to go through to get to the game! And this is AFTER you boot up the system and navigate through the system GUI. Now I'm not saying that you don't have to do this on a pc. Quite the contrary, seeing how my point was that consoles are becoming more like computers.

6.) Consoles are becoming more expensive, computers are getting cheaper and consoles are not as well made anymore. Remember how much the ps3 initially cost?

Oh yeah.
[embed]181592:32264[/embed]

What did it have like a 60 gb hard drive? Several heating issues? And I don't think I need to say anything about the 360.(100 dollar wireless adapter?) Even my wii gives me trouble sometimes, freezing or refusing to boot up entirely without me unplugging and replugging the power cord. Even before that I remember my friends ps2's were breaking right and left when they were about 3 years old. My SNES, NES, and twin famicom are still running smoothly though.

Previously I stated that I would have to spend 300 on a new computer system. I was also looking at laptops. 690 for a core i5 system with a 500 gb hard drive, 4 gb of ram, etc. Now, given that this is primarily for school use, the power on that baby is insane given the price. The major stumbling block here that prevents mainstream computers such as this one to play hardcore games is a macho video card. While I have no doubt it would be able to run team fortress 2 no problem, crysis 2 might be a challenge. Even still, it's safe to say that powerful laptops are getting cheaper. Also, it would be foolish to ignore that it is quite common for people today to each have their own personal computer. It's a good thing macs are getting back into gaming. So my basic statement is that if the production of powerful video cards can come down enough so that they can be put in more mainstream systems, more computers can be used as current gen gaming platforms. PC/mac games will still be around for a while just because the platform is so common.

7.) The release of systems in set generations creates a weird spectrum in terms of the quality of games. You know what I'm talking about. Several times at the release of a new system(ps2, ps3, 360) the launch titles absolutely SUCK. And those towards the end of a life cycle tend to rock hard. But can be overlooked.

8.) Waves. I think that best sums up how we should think of the future of gaming platforms. Like I said before, in different times, different platforms were preferred due to the games they offered. However, it is possible that different platforms do not need to compete due to niche differentiation. Coexistence can be attained if different systems focus on different types of games. And with the focus on motion control in console games, it's possible. Who knows. All I know is that pc gaming is alive and well. Hello, Starcraft II? Also consider the current trend with consumer electronics being the ability to use one device to accomplish several different types of tasks.(look at phones)   read


4:49 PM on 05.24.2010

Cougar Man, Donkey Lady, and Gungslinger Dog...RDR Glitches

Anyone who's seen the following videos knows exactly what I'm talking about in the title. Somebody has stumbled across several glitches in their copy of Red Dead Redemption, all of which are character model swaps and are extremely humorous. Just watch. I'm sure there will be more in the future.

[embed]174452:30069[/embed]

[embed]174452:30070[/embed]

[embed]174452:30071[/embed]   read


1:04 PM on 05.20.2010

ZOMG E3 2010 lineup revealed!!



WOWEEEE1 NEW KID ICARUS, EARTHBOUND, MARIO LAND!?!

Wait, take a closer look, here.



Shit's gotta be fake ._.   read


12:55 PM on 05.20.2010

Simon's Supper!

I've been following shamoozal nerdlog for quite some time now. Most posts are about dvd and music releases but every now and then they make mildly amusing cartoons. They even did this entertaining streaming 12 hour nes game marathon. Watching them play through Jackal was great.

Anyway, they made a new video called "Simon's Supper", the second toon of a series they call "Read Only Memory".


[embed]174152:29971[/embed]   read


2:55 PM on 05.13.2010

Unreal!: An interesting study on UT

Almost 8 years ago I was able to procure a copy of Unreal Tournament '99 from my buddy Andrew for free(he didn't play it).

I played it all through my high school years and a bit through college. I never bought one of the newer iterations. I only sampled them via demos. Now that I've been out of college for a year, I haven't played it in quite a while. Hell, it's not even installed on my hard drive. But I wondered something. How popular is the game today? The original Unreal Tournament. And more importantly, how popular is it compared to the newer games?

I really wanted to play the other games too. It was back when vehicles in FPS games were a huge deal. But I really wondered how it would compare against the user created content for UT 99. There were so many damn mutators. And several were and still are incredibly popular. You won't be hard pressed to find a server with instagib shock rifles, strangeloves, and arctic fighter jets. It was a ridiculous game when I played it. Never the same match twice.

[embed]173635:29833[/embed]

I remember sweating at 3 AM as a plucky young nerd. I kept my sister awake by the rampant, frenzied noises of....

clicking. Haha yeah. Fun times. TetsuoG in the house.

Between studying for the MCAT, after finding the velocity of a clown shot out of a cannon at 35 degrees, I sought out the answers to my questions on gametracker.com by way of hard numbers.

Here's what I found:

All three games still have tons of servers. But it's really not worth sifting through all the nonsense. I just sorted by player count, counting all the servers with at least one player on, and all those with at least two(the minimum for an actual match).

Unreal Tournament 99: 173 active servers, 144 with more than one player each.
Unreal Tournament 2004: 103 active servers, 84 possible matches
Unreal Tournament 3: 56 active servers, 40 possible matches

So yea, I knew UT 3 was not a great seller, but damn! Seems like the 1999 GAME OF THE YEAR is still king, baby nearly 11 years after its initial release. Looks like I'll have to jack in one day and reclaim my throne as the mushroom cloud muthafucka. Muthafucka.(I had a Sam Jackson voice pack back in the day)

PC Gaming will never die!!!   read


9:48 PM on 05.04.2010

Forget Super Mario Crossover!

I was perusing newgrounds and came across this nifty little game called Enough Plumbers.

It's wayy more original than Super Mario Crossover. You are a plump plumber like character who can create clones of himself every time he touches a coin. You don't need to save every clone, you just need to make it through. There are plenty of creative levels to figure your way out of. Tons of powerups, enemy types and level layouts. Also the plumber's voice is a tad cute too, I must say. It's very fun and very addicting. I just started playing 40 minutes ago and made it through like 20 levels. The music is also quite trippy.

[embed]172868:29598[/embed]   read





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