Last night, while I was waiting for a load of laundry dry so I could finally go to bed, I finished Super Mario Brothers for the NES. Of course, I wasn't running my capture device on my recording laptop, but I did manage to snap a pic with my phone:.|
Yes, I play NES (amd many other systems) on a projector. Sorry about the quality, but this seems to happen all the time with my Android phone. Oh well.
I'm not sure what to do now. SMB was one of the few games I played in my youth I never got around to beating (the other being Section Z, for obvious reasons). I don't think I'm ready to unplug my NES yet, so I think something on that system. An action or platform game, I think. After looking at my collection I think I can come up with a few titles:
Conquest of the Crystal Palace
Dr. Chaos (I know, not a pure action game)
A couple others that I didn't realize I had:
Swords and Serpents
Tombs and Treasures
I'm not really familiar with any of these titles, so anything I pick will be a suprise.
I know it's not over yet, but this sure has been an interesting weekend. Not quite as diverse as I originally thought, being that I only played Super Mario Brothers. If I played it on multiple formats does that count? No?
My first goal this weekend was to try to find a way to capture the gameplay. This was inspired by our own Crabmaster2000 (of course), as well davidr64yt, who has over 400 videos of his gameplay to watch (with audio commentary).
At first I decided to try capturing the gameplay with my old capture device. The video was nice but the lag was so great that it was unusable. Basically it would be great for a traditional JRPG but it is useless for action. Next I tried using a VCR, but no usable VHS tape busted that (which is ironic considering that at my current work I find old VCRs all the time). My final was to record it while playing on an emulator. I'm not super hip to this, mainly because NES games just don't interest me unless I'm playing with an original controller (though I don't have this problem with any other platform). While I was able to get some usable video in this manner, I'm not going to post it, due to the fact that it is ugly (the colors are off).
While I did spend a large amount of my gaming time jerking around with production, I did manage to sneak in some SMB action. Despite my confession of not playing it in a long time, when I picked up my NES controller it felt like I never put it down to begin with. Within a few moments of adjustment (primarily to get the controller into a comfortable playing position) I was able to play quite competently. I did have some difficulty remembering where the second set of warp pipes were located (though I found the third quite easily). Once I remembered (watching a speedrun of the Vs. SMB game jogged this memory) I was able to skate to the end pretty quickly. I still haven't beat it though. For some reason I can get to World 8-2 very quickly, but once I get there die. Usually I can get to 8-4, but once that happens I die again, loosing my fireball, then I waste the rest of my lives (which are usually three) at Bowser.
I think that I end up using the VCR option to record, though I would love to find an encoding box under $60 that can record in real-time (probably hopeless). I think from now on I will start recording gameplay the first time I fire up the game, just for fun. Any tips that you, the fine folks of RF Generation, would like to share would be much appreciated.
Since my wife will be working the entire weekend, I've declared a Weekend of Gaming for all in my household. While my son observes this every weekend (and many days of the week), in between taking care of the items on my honey-do list and scraping my daughter off the ceiling I plan on sneaking in a few hours at the least, assuming that the power stays on in this windstorm. I guess we will see, huh?
I don't know exactly how long it has been since I played Super Mario Brothers, but I'm getting some serious 1986/87 flashback twinges. Even playing the Virtual Console version (which I don't remember buying) and playing on the Wii-mote is making me nostalgic. There is one odd thing though: is the game supposed to be that fast? I'm thinking it might be a combination of the television (a 40" LCD) and the Wii (which I swear must be using some sort of smoothing), but it seems just too fast. I'm not a big fan of smoothing and graphical enhancements on my old games (generally), so I might hook up my NES to an old CRT I have laying around and see if my theories pan out tomorrow.
I just may end up throwing in the towel on Stellar-Fire. I've hit a snag and can't seem to progress. Worse, I'm having serious problems getting past the second stage, even though I had already progressed to the fourth. Either the game is just too inconsistent or I really suck at it.
On a additional note, while looking through the janked-up Netflix menu on Wii (without much hope, I might add), I couldn't help but see Stephen King's Bag of Bones down near the end. Could it be possible that they made a movie (actually a two-part series) of one of my favorite King novels without me knowing? I guess so (obviously). I've decided to click on the damn movie and see what happens, though I won't be expecting much. I mean, I really loved It and Rose Red, but... I don't know. Why do we even want to watch movies made from our favorite novels? If some crazy bastard managed to secure the rights to Mark Z. Danielewsi's House of Leaves or Dan Simmons' A Winter Haunting or even [insert favorite novel here] would you go see it?
I'm going to stop being a cynical jerk now and just watch the movie.
UPDATE: The movie sucked. Oh, well.
I haven't been playing very much in the way of games this past week. Part of it is because I upgraded from a basic cell to an Android phone and the rest is lack of sleep due to my daughter's illness. I've spent a lot of time watching Netflix and Youtube (Gamecenter CX and Crab's videos) while sitting in a rocking chair. And thinking.
I want this to sound not like a confessional but a realization: I may have been neglecting my retro roots. I have been neglecting my retro roots. This came to me in the forums when Apollo.Boy kept telling me how much better older games look on a good CRT rather than an LCD. While I was trying to think of another way of reinforcing my point I began to wonder: when was the last time I really enjoyed playing a retro game on an old television. When was the last time I enjoyed playing a retro game at all? I had no idea. Sure, I've playing a lot of games (some of them old), but I was looking more at my backlog as a whole then as individual games. I was playing my games with the goal of completion, not enjoyment. This was the essence of my problem with Stellar-Fire, I think.
In the spirit of this I will be republishing two of my earlier articles, neither which appeared on RF Generation (that I can tell). I will also be once again be revamping the way I choose games to play. From now on I will choose both a game that closer fits with the overall spirit at RFG as well as a game that is more in character with, well, me.
GTA: Episodes from Liberty City: I haven't finished these games yet, but yet I have. Let me explain. Because of the content I cannot play these games around my children I am limited to after they are asleep, which basically means that I am playing about two missions a night. I am satisfied with this, so I feel that I can put these games on the Post Mortem list and walk away. Anyways, I think I have more pressing issues to confront.
Games For This Week
Platform: Sega CD
Purchase Date: 1998
Despite what I wrote at the beginning of this article, I still firmly believe this is not a good game in any capacity. Regardless, I shall strive forth. I've found a somewhat decent recorder (Hypercam 2), but I am having some sound issues. Below you will find one of my earlier experiments with Hypercam (as well as Stellar-Fire). Sorry about the fumbling sound.
The goal for each level is to collect a certain number of crystals scattered about the landscape while fighting and avoiding enemies at every turn and finally facing a boss. The problem is that the crystals are scattered in a very non-linear pattern that only gets more spread out with every level, eventually bordering on the ridiculous. To add to the difficulty there is no compass, so you are forced to rely on the background landscape. Very interesting. If I can ever beat this game I plan on writing a FAQ.
Title: Super Mario Brothers
Like many of you, this was the first game I ever played on the NES. I first played back in 1987 after a friend, who spent many days mowing lawns and selling rebuilt bicycles, purchased one. Initially I sucked quite a bit at this game, despite my arcade experience. I kept dying at the elevators in World 1-2. Later when I received an NES for Christmas I was able to get better, but only a bit as I also received The Legend of Zelda as well.
I've never actually beaten this game. Did I say that already? I've seem most of the game, but for some reason I never saw it to the end. Very strange, though I have been assured by a friend that this is actually pretty common. I am reluctant to believe him, but I guess it could be true.
While I will be challenging this game on my NES, I might do a playthrough on an emulator so I can record it.
Title: Boku No Natsuyasumi 4 (My Summer Vacation 4)
Purchase Date: 4/2011
The Boku No Natsuyasumi series revolves around a boy (Boku?) visiting relatives during summer vacation in Japan. The game is considered very nostalgic and features many games and activities Japanese men would have enjoyed during their childhood in the eighties (such as bug collecting, beetle-fighting, and toy collecting). There is a story, but since I don't understand Japanese I don't know it, though I've been told that the series is perfect for those wishing to learn to read Japanese.
I've never tried to beat the game, but instead just putter around the island, collecting things, sticking my nose into everything, and enjoying the atmosphere of nostalgia the game creates (even though I don't have a cultural reference for it).
Will there ever be a game about a nerdy kid in the eighties as he trolls around the woods and roadside looking for returnable bottles so he can play arcade games at the laundry-mat and 7-11? I sure hope so. Then again, there is always Shenmue.
In The Bag For 2012
Alan Wake - 1/25
Dead Space 2 - 2/4
Portal 2 - 2/10
Enslaved - 2/17