Friday, 30 May 2008

Clash of the Titans - Round 2


Remember this? After that most awesome of matches (despite the horrible lag), a rematch was bound to happen sooner or later, and yesterday was the day. After a previous a agreement on the day and time (you know, because we're busy people, we're not online 24/7), there I was, logging into Xbox Live at about 2:00 in the afternoon. Father K was online, but when I saw that he was playing Halo 3 I figured that it should be one of the gingers. No problem, it gave me some time to train my moves. Father would come shortly after, and when he did we started playing right away. Guess what, the first round was mine! Hehe, guess that training really did the difference. We were still pretty balanced, though, and overall Father probably won a couple more matches than I did. He was a bit cheap at times, though... (sorry Father, but I had to say this, those successions of punches should be prohibited xD).


Anyway, this was not a matter of winning or losing, but a moment of leisure between two friends separated by lots of land and even ocean. There was absolutely no lag this time, so not only we could play without that handicap, but we were also able to have a proper conversation! It was like talking on the phone, really, but while playing at the same time, and it was great. Now that I think of it, we really talked a lot (it was my strategy to distract Father and kick his ass xD), from games, to the origins of our respective nicknames and pretty much everything we could think of while still throwing virtual kicks and punches.


Also, it was not just a thing between us, for we eventually dragged our families into it. My mum passed by to say "hello" and the littlest ginger, Ted, even played with me, although he was at a disadvantage for not being used to play as Kage. By the way, funny how we pronounce that name differently, Father says Kage as in "cage" while I pronounce it "Kágê", like the Japanese do (by the way, "kage" means "shadow", appropriate name for a ninja). It's just a curiosity, since we were able to understand each other just fine for most of the time, although I would sometimes get too excited and speak so fast that even I wouldn't understand what the fuck I just said, lol.



By the way, this time we saved a lot of replays to show you guys, but unfortunately my cell phone's camera couldn't keep up with the game's speed and this was the best I could get. Maybe Father will have more luck with his high-tech phone.

Also, when you think about it, technology really is amazing. 10 years ago we were playing VF1 and 2 alone in our homes, without having the slightest hint that the other one existed and that we would someday meet on the web and play VF5 together. Fucking amazing, isn't it?

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Segata Sanshiro ... THE RETURN IN 2008.

http://kotaku.com/393890/magical-segata-sanshiro-mullet-makes-rambo-return


Sure Hiroshi Fujiioka may just be promoting the new Rambo arcade game...but does that even matter with pictures like this?



I am so glad I was playing my Sega Saturn last night.

Sega Saturn shiro!

HE'S BACK!

JUST LOOK AT THAT!

Look at that press conference for the new Rambo Arcade Game. Yes, your vision is clear. Yes, that is Segata Sanshiro standing there with a super hot japanese girl. Finally he is back!

Well... almost. It's "just" Hiroshi Fujiioka supporting that super hot japanese girl in presenting the new Rambo Arcade game from Sega. But look at how happy he is. You can clearly see, that it's his destiny to be ambassador in the world for Sega's great games. And with the latest news of Sega re-releasing the Saturn, or actually developing the Saturn II, it can mean only one thing: Segata Sanshiro will be back for good!


We never forgot him! Finally the day has come. You may want to click this link, to actually see even more pictures of him.

DOA4

OK It's got it's roots firmly planted in Saturn soil, and I have to say (controversially) I'm loving it more than VF5...

It's just such a great arcade type game! I haven't even registered the tit bounce factor yet... (Surely proof of the game's fighting potential...) I'm loving it right now!!!!

Here's a couple of vids!


Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Super Stupid Fighting Game Crossovers

In honor of such puzzling partnerships as Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Capcom vs. Tatsunoko, and an upcoming Soul Calibur sequel starring a wrinkly Muppet, I'm proud to present Super Stupid Fighting Game Crossovers! This feature counts down eight of the worst cameo appearances in fighting games from the past, with everyone from plus-sized pugilist Karnov to Mega Man's kid sister Roll falling in my crosshairs.

Although this video is not strictly Saturn-related, there were so many fighting games on the system that it was impossible not to include several of them in the feature. I've included footage from Fighter's History Dynamite, Fighters Megamix, World Heroes Perfect, King of Fighters '96, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, and a special Japanese version of Fighting Vipers starring... well, you'll just have to watch the video to find out!

PART 1



PART 2

Sega Rally 3

Well it took me an age to grab this underwhelming video for y'all, but it seems like Sega have paid homage to it's 13 year old classic, by updating it's '95 beauty with next gen visuals that play out all the old familiar stages. Here's the updated version of 'Desert'. Even with this shockingly poor 'over the shoulder' home video, I can see I'm gonna love this game!

Apparently it comes replete with a state of the art scaled down car shaped cab, with the latest in motion sensor technology and a lovely, whopping HD screen. And it's Sega rally 95. But in 2008. With glorious state of the art visuals.

Not the horrendously poor, shoddy 360 effort that was Sega Rally Revo ...apparently, (mentioning no names...) Nebacha... LOL!

Let's hope we hear more soon!


Sega Rally 3 - Desert 95 from HeavyElectricity on Vimeo.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

New list of Rare Saturn Games up at Racketboy!

Take a look HERE.

Make sure you keep an eye out folks.

Racketboy always has some cool retro stuff up at the site.

http://www.racketboy.com

Thursday, 22 May 2008

The Saturn Makes A Comeback In 2008



Yes! It's official! The Saturn is risen again!!! Those funny, funny guys over at the wonderful UK Resistance are constantly posting Sega related photos of the obscurest kind, such as Sonic tea towels NiGHTs oven gloves or Virtua Cop incontinence pants.



The site is always worth a visit, but at the moment I urge you to go there forthwith! For there on their hallowed pages are pictures of a Sega Saturn featuring in a 2008 promotion for sickly, citric, soft drink Fanta! Now either there is a Saturn loving artist working for Fanta, or more excitingly, Sega have teamed up with Fanta and are releasing a brand new console which will dominate the current gen console war!




I'll let you decide which is more likely... Oh and while you're there, scroll down the page and see a picture or two sent in by your very own Father K! Happy days!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Segata Sanshiro Cosplay

Usually I am not a fan of Cosplay. I just think it's wrong, when too chubby girls squeeze themselfes into costumes, which have been designed on paper by horny Manga artists from Japan. The costumes often feature daring cuts and designs, which accentuate the advantages of the often big breasted female stars of the Mangas. Something, which rarely looks good in the real world, especially when the girls trying to recreate that have none of the advantages of their comic counterparts. Even when guys try to look like Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy or Guts from Sword Of The Berserk, it's often ridiculous, because the cheap plastic and fabrics of the costumes look very... cheap. Not to speak of the blades made out of wood or cardboard. It is, imho, not possible, to transform a cool looking Anime / Manga / Game costume into the real world. God does not want that.

This particular costume, though, is one of the very few exceptions. A judo suit is nothing a Manga artist came up with, but a real thing and that uber huge Sega Saturn is the bestest thing in the world anyway! The guy only forgot the elvis wig. Flickr User Delirious Fish photographed that guy on the Anime Central Convention, which was held very recently. Too bad I don't know the guy's name, because I'd love to ask him, if he won any prices with that costume. He's definitely a winner for me.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

What do 1150 Saturn Games Look Like?

Fellow collector and Assembler board dude "Adol" finally managed, what many of us may never achieve: He collected every Saturn game ever released. With 1,150 titles his Sega Saturn set is now complete and it's not his only one. He already had complete (!) collections of Sega Mark 3, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Dreamcast and most recently Super Famicom games. Don't ask how he achived all that, I simply don't know it. Even with having enough money it'd still be quite an act to hunt the rare releases down, imho.

For the curious ones, there are plenty of pictures of his collection in this particulary Assembler board thread. Go check it out and maybe you also want to register yourself an account over there, since I can only recommend it. It's a nice board, with nice dudes and plenty of interesting reads about the rare, the obscure and the behind the scenes of your favourite console.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Weird Sega Saturn Items

Just recently I bought some weird Sega Saturn related stuff. Stuff, which I hoped to find in Japan, but actually didn't. The first item is some kind of... jacket where you can put sheets of paper (stuff for school, your insurance policy or documents regarding your divorce) in. It's printed with a very cool Virtua Cop image featuring the cops Michael Hardy and James Cools as well as a Virtua Cop logo and some screenshots. I am really happy, that I found it, because it's crap like that, which I really want. You can buy Saturn games everywhere and even hardware isn't too rare.

The second item I bought, was even weirder. The seller stated it as a "Sega Saturn Sales Promotion Tool". After receiving it, I noticed that it's some kind of... uhm... pennant, which the staff of shopping malls put onto the shelves to gather the consumers attention.


(Left: A bad scan of the thing. Right: The Sales Promotion Tool in action!)

It's some kind of very thin foil, with a gorgeous full color print on it, featuring the weird conehead from the Saturn commercials as well as Screenshots from Panzer Dragoon, Daytona USA and Virtua Fighter. Undoubtly the Saturn's biggest titles. Too bad I wasn't able to scan it properly, since it reflects the light so weird and thus it looks like grey on the scan.

As always, click the pics for a bigger view.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Shining Force III English translation

Say what you want about GameStop, but sometimes visiting the monolithic game store has its advantages. During a conversation with a GameStop clerk, he revealed that the second chapter of Shining Force III (released only in Japan) had been translated to English by fans of the series, with a translation of the third chapter in its early beta stages.

He didn't have a direct link to the translations, but he did offer a few key words that would aid me in a Google search. Sure enough, entering the terms "sudden dusk shining force english translation" revealed this entry on the Shining Force Central web site:

http://www.shiningforcecentral.com/news.php?m=0&story=281

Personally, I was never a fan of the Shining Force series... even Golden Sun, Camelot's spiritual successor on the Game Boy Advance, didn't do much for me. However, I know that there will be plenty of other Saturn enthusiasts who will be thrilled by this news, if they didn't already know about it. If you're one of those individuals, you can find more about the translation project by visiting this link:

http://www.shiningforcecentral.com/forums/index.php?s=069db84fd7636160d7fe9630fc685f76&showforum=34

Monday, 12 May 2008

The Clash Of The Titans...



Well, it had to happen sooner or later! At last, me and Nebacha have finally met on Xbox Live to battle it out in Virtua Fighter 5. Ladies and gentlemen... In the Blue corner, representing the nation of Portugal and fighting as Akira we have the mighty Nebachadnezzar! In the Red corner, representing the United Kingdom and fighting as Kage we have the old and slightly knackered Father Krishna!

After five fights (each bout the best of three) the results were... Father 4 - Nebacha 1! It was a great laugh, and the best part was getting to talk to my good friend Nebacha at last. The only snag for both of us was a horrible lag on the game, making the fighters movements incredibly jerky and also making conversation difficult. Still we had our first online exchange and I hope there will be many more.

It was a total novelty for me to win, as I usually get my ass kicked in online battles with VF5 experts and I enjoyed the feeling of victory...

In the end I had to call a halt to the battle, as Mrs. K had got my dinner ready. Not very Ninja-like I know, but hey! You don't cross Mrs. K when she's been slaving over a hot stove all evening! LOL!

The fights went pretty much like the one above, just without the fancy costumes or fancy moves. Maybe one day we'll have the technology to film one of our battles and get it up on the SJY... We could even have a weekly league!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

I Think This Might Have Been Here Before...

But here goes any way! Enjoy!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Tokyo - City Of Dreams?

So, there I was. In Tokyo. The city, which I heard so much about. All my retrogaming dreams would finally come true. Well, at least that's what I thought. Many of my mates on the internet already warned me about Tokyo not being the retrogamer's paradise, which it used to be. I took a mental note but still thought, that it at least must be better over there than in my hometown in Germany. And well, it was. Sort of.

~Akihabara~

On day 2 of our visit, we went straight to Akihabara, to check out some retroshops. At first we had some trouble finding one, but then we found the quite famous "Super Potato" shop. We went up the stairs to floor 1 and the amount of retrogames you'll find there is a bit overwhelming at first. You have dozens of Super Famicom carts, even more Famicom carts and also Sega Saturn games. A whole shelf full of them! In a neat little glass showcase, they stacked up the really rare items. A little bit of hardware can be found here and there as well. So that sounds great, doesn't it? Well it was to a certain degree. What wasn't as nice, were the prices of the games. A Guardian Heroes did cost around 24 EUR there. I already bought that for 7 EUR on ebay.de! The other prices were mediocre at best, too. Especially the rare items were really expensive. So the only bargain you could obtain were 100 Yen (0,60 EUR) games like Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA or Fighting Vipers. I managed to get some great bargains here and there (Like Miniskirt Police for 13 EUR, which I have to review in some days!), but I was still a tad dissapointed. Other Retroshops in Akihabara (and there aren't too many of them either!) have roughly the same pricing, so if you are after the good Sega Saturn games, you might want to continue browsing ebay.


But hey, I was warned, wasn't I? So I had a look for some boxed hardware and... uhm... found nothing. The Super Potato shop had that boxed white Saturn, but with a 80 EUR price tag and a definitely not mint box, I had to pass. I bought the even more rare V-Saturn on ebay.de for around 70 EUR for example. I wasn't even able to find some boxed Joypads or something like that. Not to speak of truly rare and / or unique items like the Sega Saturn backpacks, SegaFan Issues or the Segata Sanshiro action figure. If you are a collector of unboxed Famicom games, then Tokyo is still your paradise. But regarding Sega Saturn games Tokyo is not a must anymore. If you are there to see the extraordinary city, then it's fine to browse some Saturn Games here and there and save some money whilst buying a shitload of 100 Yen games.

~Bars~

When staying in Tokyo, your brain is constantly exposed to an immense amount of flashing lights, uber sized billboards, incredibly gorgeous girls and incredibly loud sounds. So it's just natural, that you want to relax somewhere and drink as much beer, as you can. A mere days before we flew to Japan we actually found two Tokyo based videogame themed bars in the internet. 8-Bit Café and 16 Shots. They were even just minutes away from our hotel, so it was clear that we'll hang out there and drink like crazy. We first visited the 8-Bit Café, which is nothing more than an apartment located on the fifth floor in one of Tokyo's skyscrapers. It's quite small, but you can squeeze a lot of people into it, if you want. And more importantly there was gaming goodness lying around everywhere. Super Famicom carts, two Sega Saturns, a showcase filled with odd stuff and a lot of videogame related books. Of course you can play all that stuff as well! We immediately ordered some beer and for some odd reason they only had german Löwenbräu beer. That didn't stop us from drinking, though. After some rounds of Street Fighter II we also managed to get in contact with some true locals, who already were kinda drunk. It was a really nice evening there.




The next day, we wanted to visit the 16 Shots bar, which was only 5 Minutes away from the 8-Bit Café. It was even smaller, roughly fitting max. 7 people inside. 4 at the counter and 3 around a great cocktail cab with Raiden Fighters 2. The first thing you noticed was the music. In the 16 Shots bar the playlist was filled with videogame tunes like the Segata Sanshiro Theme (!), Virtua Fighter tunes and countless of other stuff, whereas the 8-Bit Café was mainly playing "ordinary" electronic music. The 16 Shots bar had a lot of gaming goodnes flying around here and there, as well. But the really great thing about it was the toilet, which had a pinboard with business cards on it. Those weren't normal business cards but business cards from people who work at Sega, Grasshopper Manufacture, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Famitsu, etc. Nearly the whole industry was there and I was peeing right next to them. When visiting the 16 Shots bar more often during our stay, we noticed why there were so many business cards hanging at the toilet pinboard. Those people actually visit the bar quite frequently! We managed to meet people from Climax (Dark Saviour anyone?), Grasshopper Manufacture, the guy who made Every Extend Extra and most importantly a very nice and friendly guy from Sega. We drank a bit, talked a bit and whoops, the next day we had an appointment at the Sega Headquarter in Ootori.

~Sega~


The next day we arrived in Ootori on time and already saw a huge Sega sign when we stepped out of the JR line station! We didn't hesitate and went straight to it, posed infront of the Sega sign at the doors and went in. Inside it looked like your ordinary office building, with (gorgeous) secretaries running around and people waiting in the foyer to be picked up. It did take quite some time until our acquaintance came. But it was our mistake. We went straight into the Arcade Division Building and the Sega guy was waiting at the true Headquarter, just two blocks away, which we totally missed. The main headquarter was more representative with a huge Sonic in the Foyer, huge display windows with Sega memorabilia and some LCD screens with trailers of upcoming games running on them. We went into an empty conference room on the third floor and takeld a bit with him. Mostly about Dreamcast stuff, since the interview was mostly lead by a mate from Dreamcast-Scene.com.


So there wasn't too much Sega Saturn related stuff involved in our conversation, but we got a glimpse of how it must have been to work at Sega at that time. The guy, whom we talked with, was actually working on Burning Rangers and some other big games for the Sega Saturn. He also saw Shen Mue running on stock Sega Saturn hardware, which brought some tears to my eyes, once I heard that. I wish I would have been able to ask more interesting questions about the Sega Saturn, but time was scarce and he wasn't able to answer the truly interesting questions, since he didn't work in the responsible departments. And besides, there is not much unanswered stuff left, I am afraid.


~Tokyo In General~

So there you have it. That was Japan for me. Few retrogames, the ones you find are either very common and thus only about 100 Yen, or very rare and very expensive up to 98,000 Yen (roughly 600 EUR for an "Heim Waltz"). The girls in Tokyo are incredibly gorgeous, with the majority of them wearing (no matter how cold it is) nothing but Miniskirts, high heels, stockings and crazy tops. 99 % of them are super skinny and very cute as well. Contrary to popular belief, Tokyo is actually quite cheap. A can of coke out of a vending machine is 120 Yen (0,60 EUR), a Big Mac is 240 Yen (1,50 EUR, WTF? It's currently over 3,10 EUR in Germany!) and you can get the cheapest Metro ticket for around 100 - 140 Yen. So, Tokyo isn't really expensive. You can actually live there and you can especially afford a vacation there. Our flight was around 600 EUR and the 2 stars Hotel 400 EUR for 9 days. And let me tell you, that 2 stars in Japan are like 6 stars over here! It was incredibly noble and just perfect. I'll definitely visit Tokyo again some day.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Excellent Saturn Score.

I got a VERY nice lot of Sega Saturn games from Goodwill a little while back. Let me tell you a bit about each game I got.


The street fighter collection is GREAT. The version of SF Alpha 2 gold that comes with it is by FAR the best version I have tried out.

I am able to play the SF Zero 2 import via my Saturn Game Shark. It can play imports as long as you hold in the top row of XYZ buttons when you load the game up (Strange but true). The game was somewhat disappointing to me because it didn't differ much from the American version at all.


Super Puzzle fighter 2 is a game I have had on the GBA for a long time. This game is a great puzzler! Normally I don't care for Tetris style games but this game is AWESOME. Each move requires split second timing and thought.

I actually don't know much about Iron storm and the game came without a manual so I have no idea how to control the game. I know it's a RTS of some sort.


Darius is a great shooter. Meat and Potatoes. Excellent music I thought.



However, I was NOT able to play the Samurai Spirits collection because it requires the 4 M memory cart. The game itself is in excellent condition though and is a collectors item. Hopefully one day soon I will be able to get a cart to play this game.


Does anyone happen to know if you can use a Gameshark to boot an import game then switch it for a Memory Cart so you can run it?

In any case this was a great find and I urge everyone to check out their local goodwill stores, salvation army stores and other thrift shops that donate money to the less fortunate in some way. You never know what you can find.