noiseredux vs.

Posted on Apr 30th 2013 at 08:45:47 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Saturn, Dreamcast

So April turned out to be a crazy good month for adding to my collection. Let's take a look!




First up was a couple of guides that I got using Barnes & Noble gift cards. I love Capcom Vs. SNK, so this was exciting.




A trade on Racketboy.com landed me these 3 Saturn titles. Always nice to get a fancy Working Design game.




Fellow RFGen-er GrayGhost81 traded me this nice handful of Official Sega Dreamcast Magazine demo discs. By the end of April I was only now missing 2 of them.




This giant lot came from a good buddy of mine. It started out as me taking just those two Saturn sports games which he had doubles of. Eventually the deal grew into what you see above, but he also surprised me with that sealed copy of Floigan Brothers which was really awesome of him!




Evolution I found locally for $7, and although that's pretty much the going price I like being able to buy Dreamcast games in person when I see them in such great shape.




Another trade through Racketboy got me these. That's a Dreamcast TopMax stick... it's not that great - especially compared to the excellent Agetec stick, but it was a great bargain so I was glad to add it to my shelves.




Yet another Racketboy trade got me Panzer Dragoon - a classic I've yet to play!




My wife and I hit up a flea market while out furniture shopping and I came across these. Tetris Plus is in great condition and that Saturn Eclipse Pad is sealed. It was $15 for the both. But the real gem here is NBA 2K2, which is actually the hardest to find of the three 2K games on Dreamcast. I got mine for $2 which made me really happy.




Another local game shop resulted in this awesome Saturn pick-up. That's right, an official racing wheel which is great for Daytona. The wheel was $20, which isn't spectacular, but buying one online would be a lot more once shipping is accounted for. Each of the three games were $10, which I felt pretty good about.




Here's one lot of games I got from my good buddy Mike. We went in together on a bigger purchase and split up what we each needed for our collections. I'm definitely really pleased with the items I got.




And another lot I got from the same friend - Sakura Wars 3 & 4 box sets complete my collection of the boxes. The third box is the best as it comes with a really classy and fully functional music box! The Saturn stick is a Hori V7 which is insanely comfortable and a purchase I'm very happy with.




And also from same friend - this is an official Dreamcast-branded DDR dance pad. This is really cool as there were no DC dance mats released in the US, so it's more common to see DC fans using a PlayStation 2 pad with a DC adapter instead.




And finally via another Racketboy trade I got a second Dreamcast - this is one of the black ones (sadly, the Sega Sports logo has been removed). This lot was really cool, and I'm especially fond of the Alien Front Online box set as well as the Double Impact release of Street Fighter III.


So yeah... pretty awesome month!



Posted on Mar 12th 2013 at 08:40:42 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Saturn




When I was in Junior High I had a neighborhood friend who had the NES port of Bubble Bobble. And it had remained pretty much my sole exposure to the game until just recently. In February the Together Retro game club over at Racketboy.com had Bubble Bobble on their calendar. I was actually pretty excited to delve back into this one. The NES game was a really solid puzzle-platformer that offered an excellent co-op experience. Indeed I remember spending many hours as either Bub or Bob and capturing enemies and bursting their bubbles as my friend Jason and I traversed our way through those hundred levels. But this time out Iíd be delving into the Saturn port which promised to be much closer to the original arcade experience.

Hereís what I found out:  Bubble Bobble is really hard you guys. Compared to the NES version the computer AI was extremely aggressive. And though I didnít spend a massive amount of time playing, I did put a fair share of effort. No matter how much I tried I could never seem to beat level 15 by myself. Although ďby myselfĒ probably illustrates the biggest issue I took with this game. Bubble Bobble is the sort of game that begs for co-op. Unfortunately my wife and  I were gearing up for a big move, which meant we had pretty limited time for things like video games. And never once did we get to give this game a go together considering I wasnít even sure which box my spare Saturn controller had ended up in. So more than anything I just found Bubble Bobble really frustrating. Though you canít hate on the music which is still stuck in my head a month later.





Luckily enough the Saturn release of Bubble Bobble also includes the sequel Rainbow Islands. I had actually never played this one before, and was actually pleasantly surprised by this one. Instead of dragons you play as little humans (who I think Iíve read are actually Bub and Bob in human formÖ or something?) who have the power to make little rainbows. The rainbows can be used to contain enemies much like the bubbles were used in Bubble Bobble, but they can also create little platforms for you to ascend each stage. The whole thing is really colorful and bright and just a whole lot of fun. Though I didnít have as much time as I would have liked to spend on it this month, Iíd gladly re-visit Rainbow Islands again in the near future.





This disc also contains a third game. But the third game is also my major complaint about this particular release. Bubble Bobble Also Featuring Rainbow Islands includes a sort of remake of Rainbow Islands. But why? Why bother with such a superfluous inclusion when the compilation could have been made totally amazing by adding in Parasol Stars? For those who arenít familiar, Parasol Stars was the third game in the Bubble Bobble series, and to this day my favorite of the trilogy.  Parasol Stars was one of the few TurboGrafx-16 games I owned back in the day and it sort of combined all the good stuff from both Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands into one incredibly awesome game. Sadly, itís nowhere to be seen here though. Oh well



Posted on Mar 11th 2013 at 09:43:47 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Saturn, Dreamcast



February was an extremely busy month for my wife and I due to moving, so this collecting blog post will be a bit different than previous months. I really didnít have time to take pictures of all my additions or even catalog them in my RFGen collection yet for that matter. Although this is going to look like a huge update, the funny thing is that almost everything youíll see was purchased in January but didnít actually arrive until February.

In fact the bulk of my pickups for the month all arrived in a single box. A couple of my friends and myself put some cash together and basically bought an ex-collectorís entire Saturn and Dreamcast collection. And to be honest, their collection was insane. So hereís what my third of the lot turned out to be:

SATURN:

AnEarth Fantasy Story
Angelique Special 2
Battle Athletes Daiundoukai
Black/Matrix
Blue Breaker
Blue Seed
Bootleg Sampler
Bootleg Sampler (loose)
Cotton Boomerang
Crusader No Remorse
D-Xhird
E'tude Prologue
Farland Story
Fushiginokunino Angelique
The Game of Life DX
Grandia
Hexen
Kakyusei
Nightruth
Nights Into Dreams Sampler
Ogre Battle
Refrain Love
Riglordsaga
Riglordsaga 2
Ronde
Sakura Wars Steam Radio Show
Sega Screams Volume 1 (loose)
Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner (x2)
Shiroki Majo
Slayers Royal
Slayers Royal 2
Super Robot Wars F Final
Virtua Cop (NFR) (x2)
Virtua Cop 2 boxset w/ Stunner lightgun
Wachenroder
Wizardry VI & VII Complete
Wizards Harmony
Yukyu Gensokyoku 2nd Album
Yu-No

Action Replay Plus w/ manual
Mouse w/ mousepad
Netlink modem w/ SegaNet disc, manual
S-Video cables

DREAMCAST:

Sakura Taisen LE boxset
Sakura Taisen 2 LE boxset

Broadband Adapter
Keyboard (loose)
Performance rumble pack
Vibration Pack (boxed)
VGA Box (boxed)
VMU (boxed, grey)


You may notice that almost all the games are Japanese. As such, Iíve not yet fully decided which games Iím keeping and which Iíll be getting rid of. Certainly some of them are at least somewhat import-friendly. But thereís an abundance of RPGís and Adventure games that without an understanding of English will honestly just sit on my shelves untouched. But even saying that I know Iíll hang on to Grandia and the Sakura Wars box sets no matter what. There are some games that are just too cool to get rid of regardless of a language barrier.

I definitely have to thank my buds for hooking this deal up though, as I got a whole lot of incredible stuff here for about the cost of just the Dreamcast Broadband Adapter and that copy of Cotton Boomerang alone.

My other acquisition was actually bought all the way back in December. I got another Neo Geo Pocket Color console -- this time a nice silver one. Itís actually a Japanese edition because I really had been wanting a minty boxed system. As it happens, this one came bundled with a Japanese Pachinko game which Iíve yet to delve into. But I have played a whole lot of Bust-A-Move Pocket in the last month. Anyway, sorry about the lack of great pics this month. Iíll make up for that next timeÖ



Posted on Jan 31st 2013 at 08:19:18 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast

So post-holidays meant I had a bit of mad-money to blow. And I had no problem finding a whole lot of awesome Sega stuff to buy with it. Let's take a look...




Some Sega CD games. I'm especially happy to have a copy of Fatal Fury Special.




I found this boxed Lethal Enforcers gun for $10 locally... except look! The box actually has two of them!




A few games for my US Saturn library. Puzzle Fighter FTW!




These Saturn promos were from my RFGen Secret Santa, Tynstar. I've always wanted that Virtua Feeling sampler.




JJGames had an after-Christmas sale, so I nabbed a bunch of US Dreamcast games on the cheap.




A couple of indie games from Goat Store. The Irides is the limited edition which came with that coin and a nice poster (not pictured).




A couple of Dreamcast Japanese imports, also from Goat Store. They were dirt cheap so I couldn't pass them up. July was a Japanese launch title.




Fellow RFGenner dsheinem sold me these -- the one in the sleeve is the less common Version 2.62 Web Browser.




Planet Ring was a PAL exclusive, and the box set comes with a microphone. There's been rumors of this game getting a private server, so I'm all set if it does. This was also snatched from Goat Store at the very reasonable price of $14.




This fight pad is not so good, though I guess some folks like the programmable buttons. However, it was only $3 and I already had the box to complete it. Also from Goat Store.




Another boxed VMU, along with a sealed US one. The sealed one came from JJGames, and the blue one I found locally. It's so hard to pass up boxed DC stuff if I see it in my travels.




A boxed US keyboard! I had a loose one, but I really wanted a boxed one to match my Japanese one. The box isn't in the best shape, but again I found it locally at a good price so couldn't leave it behind.




And finally a boxed US controller to match my PAL one. This was also from dsheinem.




Posted on Jan 20th 2013 at 03:44:50 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Saturn, Sega




To call myself a "fan" of Puzzle Fighter would be a huge understatement. Since I first picked up the GBA port some years ago to quench a thirst for a portable puzzler, I have ranked it as my favorite puzzle game of all time. And though the gameplay remains the same for each of its various ports, I've for some reason felt compelled to seek out (and beat) almost every version released to date. To this day the only versions I've yet to make it through have been on the PSP and PC. With all that said, I feel like I'm a pretty good judge of the various releases. So let's how the Sega Saturn edition came out, shall we?





For those of you unfortunate enough to have never played the game, Super Puzzle Fighter II (there was no part I) has an extremely interesting premise. It's a puzzle game that emphasis a Vs. Mode. You will play against a human opponent or the computer. Each player selects from a roster of super-deformed versions of characters from the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers universes. The goal is to match up colored gems that fall from above and build them up into bigger gems. Sporadically a glowing sphere will drop, and if it touches blocks of its own color it will destroy them -- sending junk blocks over to your opponent. The bigger the gems you create, the more junk you'll send over. This is where the real strategy of the game comes in however. Each character has a different pattern of junk blocks that they send over. Much like in a fighting game, it is just as important to know thy enemy as it is to learn to play well.





The Arcade Mode of Puzzle Fighter plays well on the Saturn. The gem explosions are a bit more pixelated than in other ports, though this certainly doesn't take away from the gameplay at all. The music is excellent -- which is usual across the board as far as the various ports go. There is some loading between rounds, though they're not terrible.

If you're playing this without a friend, the real meat and bones of this game is the Street Puzzle Mode. In this mode you must play single rounds with each character to unlock various 'Goodies.' Each character has five Goodies to unlock. These range from pallet-swaps, hidden characters, background music tracks (both original and remixed), art galleries and so on. These are the sorts of extras (especially the hidden characters) that really makes this game a blast to play in single player, and ultimately opens the game up even more. It is not only one of the only games I've cared enough to "100%," but I've done in it multiple times with multiple versions.

Although this review is meant to be about the Saturn edition, I suppose that it's worth mentioning some pluses about other versions for those curious. It is worth noting that the PSN and XBLA versions do look really nice in HD but more importantly allow for online play. The XBLA version was eventually released physically as part of the 360 Capcom Digital Collection if you're not a fan of downloadable games. The Dreamcast version was only available in Japan, however it does support the VGA cable if you wish to import it. Sadly, its online play option is no longer available. And of course the GBA and PSP versions are worth grabbing if you're a fan of portable puzzlers. However the truth is that any version of Puzzle Fighter is going to be recommended by me. And really, any version will give you a great game to play.



Posted on Jan 1st 2013 at 05:00:43 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast

Happy New Year everyone. Let's see how much my collection grew in December...




The lone addition to my Sega CD library was Thunder Strike which I picked up cheap locally.



Strikers was another cheap local find, but the rest of the Saturn additions were Christmas gifts. Awesome stuff!




Some Dreamcast commons -- Airforce Delta and NBA 2K1 were gifts. The rest I picked up either locally or online. Psychic Force 2012 seemed like something I should play in 2012.




Three amazing Dreamcast games under the Christmas tree! Zombie Revenge was a surprise from my wife, and it seems like a really great game.




Dreamcast imports! Shikigami No Shiro II is a favorite of mine I've owned on GameCube and PS2 in the past, but felt I needed the DC port as well. Frame Gride was a gift from a friend, and Guilty Gear was from eStarland and includes the bonus mini-CD soundtrack.




An Ascii fight pad! I've wanted one of these for so long and managed to grab it from eStarland. It's super comfortable for fighters and shmups as well.




These two books were Christmas gifts. The Hardcore Gaming 101 book I read in just a few days, and although I had read much of it on the website prior, it felt perfect in book form and organized as it was. The Service Games book seems really great so far, though I'm less than a hundred pages in still.




My wife also found me this Sonic shot glass. He's chasing rings all the way round the glass.



Posted on Dec 29th 2012 at 07:16:34 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Saturn, Sega




There are shmups and there are shmups. DoDonPachi is a shmup. A very good shmup. Perhaps one of the best shmups ever made. And I spent most of last night playing it along with some buds over on the Racketboy forums.

DoDonPachi certainly has a reputation. In that sense I was maybe even a bit worried to finally get around to playing it. Y'know how sometimes people talk about a book or movie and by the time you see it you're just let down that it didn't live up to the hype? Not to mention that a recent sequel, DoDonPachi Resurrection was the first shmup I ever 1CC'd (on Novice Mode). So again I was mildly worried that going back further in the series might not be as enjoyable as a newer installment.

But it turns out there was nothing to fear at all. DoDonPachi is actually one of the greatest shmups I've ever played. Visually, it looks excellent and far from dated. The sprites are all so well detailed, the color pallet is always appropriate and the backgrounds are stunning. The music is definitely fitting as well. But really what makes the game so incredible is the balance of it all. There's such a perfect ratio of risk to reward in DoDonPachi that it's easy to see why it's still such a fan-favorite.

Not only does the game offer up three ships in the old Goldie Locks manner of Type A being the "super fast but not the strongest" ship and Type C being the "wicked slow but so powerful" ship. No the balance goes so far beyond all that if you're seriously trying to play for score. For instance there's the whole risk/reward paradox of chaining. You have a small meter that runs out rapidly every moment you're not killing something. If the meter runs out, your chain resets. Big chains make for big bonuses. But of course this means really learning a level and timing every single kill. It also means that sometimes you'll be killing in a not-so-effective way just to keep a chain going. Similarly there are icons of Bees that you can pick up throughout levels (with many of them hidden). They give you bonus points that get higher and higher with each Bee you get. But again, this means probably giving up your chain to uncover them all. The game is loaded with these sorts of decisions on how to maximize your score -- fast rapid shot or slow laser? To bomb or not to bomb? And so on.





Perhaps the greatest thing about DoDonPachi however is that it's the kind of game that makes you better at an entire genre. The more you practice, the more you're forced to think about strategy and how to increase your score. Not to mention it's a great workout for your mind and fingers to weave perilously throughout blankets of bright bullets. And all of these skills carry over to any other shmup, be it bullet hell or non. Throughout the month I managed to pull off a score of 11,446,730 which I felt really proud of. This was a lot of improvement from my first run. And I also found a new game that I just completely love and will surely revisit often.



Posted on Dec 17th 2012 at 07:38:41 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Saturn




Not too long ago I blogged about enjoying Fighting Vipers. As such I jumped at the opportunity, when I had the chance to acquire its spin-off sequel. Fighters Megamix is a mash-up of both Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter 2. At least that's what I thought it was. But apparently it's a whole lot more.

Let's start from the beginning. Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter 2 are both pretty similar games. At least as far as a game engine and appearance goes. So of course this makes for a pretty easy combo deal. You take your eleven Fighting Vipers characters and eleven Virtua Fighter 2 characters, put em together and call it a day. Sure there's some differences as far as physics go between the two games -- but you can even pick which physics engine you want to go with. And each game uses a similar three-button layout, so it's not like you have to learn one fighting style if you're only familiar with the other.





So when I first started playing Megamix, I really felt a bit underwhelmed. It just felt to me like Fighting Vipers with double the roster. Not that that's a bad thing of course. But it didn't feel like this amazing new game either. But I was in for a bit of a surprise still.

The single-player mode of Megamix is broken down into various courses. The courses are vaguely themed -- such as playing only Vipers or only females. In each course you'll be fighting through six fighters and then unlocking a hidden boss. This is where things start to get awesome. You see once a hidden boss is unlocked and beaten, they are then also added to the roster. When all is said and done you've got over thirty characters to choose from which is a huge jump from the original Fighting Vipers.





It's not just the fact that there are so many unlockable characters that's impressive here though. It's the sheer over-the-top fan service of them that's mind-blowing. You'll get an alternate version of Fighting Vipers' Candy, the Virtua Fighter Kids' version of Akira, along with cameos from Virtua Cop 2, Sonic The Fighters and even Daytona USA. Yes. You read that correctly. You see by the time you make it through the ninth course you'll fight the final boss of the game -- the Hornet car from Daytona USA. This is exactly the kind of insanely ridiculousness that earned Sega so many die hard fans.

My only real complaint about Fighters Megamix is a small one. There is a bit of slowdown that wasn't present in Fighting Vipers. However this only seems to occur on a few particular stages, so it's not a game-breaking deal. But when you take into consideration all the excellent unlockables plus the fact that each of the nine courses save your completion time, there is a huge amount of replayability here. Definitely a highly recommended 3D fighter for the Saturn.



Posted on Nov 30th 2012 at 07:23:58 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast

Another month and more additions!




A couple Sega CD games... I've wanted to play Eternal Champions since it was released on the Genesis, so it was awesome to score the expanded SCD edition. Trivial Pursuit I'm pretty excited about. I love the board game. I'm a trivia fan. That one was a toss-in as part of trade with WildBil.




And holy crap! A friend of mine hooked me up with the SCD backup cart at an outstanding price! This is from the same dude I got Eternal Champs from.




Saturn games! All of these acquired via trade on this very site. Some notable stuff like Duke 3D, Fighters Megamix, Bubble Bobble and... a shmup! Galactic Attack!




And a new Saturn. My Model 2 late October, so a friend of mine came through and sent me a Model 1 for $10 plus shipping. Unreal. I put a new battery in it and it's in even better shape than my first system.




Dreamcast commons I got either via trade or a few for peanuts at my local retro shop.




GrayGhost81 managed to find me both DC Generator discs!




My same buddy who hooked me up with the Saturn also sent me Street Fighter Alpha 3 as part of a trade we're working on.




And finally a blue VMU for which I already had a cap for.


All in all, a pretty solid month of collecting!



Posted on Nov 14th 2012 at 07:39:30 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Saturn, Sega




I don't play a lot of racing games, but I often feel like I should. I'm a big fan of arcade style games -- ones you can pick up and play for short bursts and just have a blast without investing too much time into anything. But in general, racers are a genre I've just only dipped my toe into the pool of over the years. Oh sure I've got my staples. Super Mario Kart and Double Dash are two that I've always loved and played extensively. And just recently I've found that Sega All-Star Racing has even perhaps surpassed the Mario Kart series. OutRun is another game I'm a big fan of, though it's not quite a racing game as much as a driving game. Right? But the point is, my scope is pretty narrow on racers.





Sega Rally Championship is actually a game I remember playing in an arcade a few years ago at an arcade for a birthday party. Of course that was sitting in a huge cabinet behind an actual wheel. And it was a lot of fun. I actually couldn't even remember the name of the game until I popped this Saturn disc in and realized I had played it before. I actually acquired this game as part of a bigger Saturn lot recently, and figured I wasn't even familiar with it. Certainly it doesn't seem to get the same nostalgic high praise as Daytona USA does to this day.

But Sega Rally is definitely quite a bit of fun. The physics took me a little while to get used to, and I spent a lot of time watching my car fishtail all over the place. Luckily the Saturn controller is well-suited for the game and feels quite comfortable. Although I have to wonder how well a proper racing wheel would perform on the console version.





The sense of speed in Sega Rally is impressive. The rush of the arcade experience totally made it into the home version. In fact the announcer loudly warning you about approaching turns sounds completely like being in an arcade. And there are some nice additions to the console port as well. For instance the Time Attack Ghost Mode, or the ability to customize your car which helps make the limited car selection not as obvious. There are only three courses (Desert, Forest and Mountain) but that's to be expected of a racing game of its time. The split-screen 2-Player mode is also a great addition. And speaking of co-op, if you're lucky enough to track down an elusive NetLink re-release, you can actually still play this game online via the NetLink modem adapter.

All in all I think that Sega Rally Championship is a solid game. I'm not ready to make this one a new racing staple, but it has gotten me interested in checking out its sequel and just exploring other racers of the era in hopes of finding another to suck up way too much of my time.



Posted on Nov 10th 2012 at 04:26:45 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Saturn, Sega




What a pleasant surprise this was!

I've dabbled a bit with the Virtua Fighter series in the past, but never gotten too into it. Though I've always kind of understood why it was such an impressive game for its time, it also feels too real if that makes sense. For whatever reason that hasn't really clicked with me. At least not yet. When I got Fighting Vipers recently as part of a big lot of Saturn games, I figured it would be quite similar. I was under the impression that it was a spin-off of the VF series -- which it turns out isn't entirely correct, but that's beside the point. And in fact Fighting Vipers totally surprised me within moments of firing it up.





Having no familiarity with any of the characters, I selected Candy. Later my research would tell me that Candy (or Honey in Japan) is actually a bit of a Fighting Vipers fan-favorite and co-splay mainstay to this day. Who knew? Whenever I'm not familiar with a fighting game roster I usually go for whoever looks to be the smallest female character, as they tend to be among the fastest which is how I like to move.

Well it turned out Candy worked just fine for me. Surprisingly I was able to beat the game on a single credit on my first try. Which is not to say it's an overly easy game, but certainly the default difficulty is meant as a starting place for newcomers to get used to the game. The controls are straight out of Virtua Fighter -- utilizing the three-button setup of block, punch and kick. Thus far, I have not mastered using the block well enough. Though this simplified control scheme might seem too basic, it actually offers up a very deep fighting game with an amazingly long list of moves. Indeed there are literally hundreds of moves available to the player with all of them listed in the instruction manual. This is awesome considering publishers today milk every cent out of gamers by offering a game with a tiny manual and the option of a $20 strategy guide for learning moves.





Graphically the game looks alright. Certainly it's at least on par with the blocky 3D rendered fighters of the time. The music however is fantastic, leaning toward the sort of hard rock soundtrack that later games like Guilty Gear or BlazBlue would perfect. But what really makes Fighting Vipers an excellent game is the over-the-topness of it all. Where Virtua Fighter attempted to aim for realism, Fighting Vipers smashes any bit of reality. Mists of blood rain out of your opponent, their armor shatters off of them (which opens them up to being vulnerable to taking more damage per hit), and single attacks can send enemies flying many feet... sometimes through walls.

Even if the Arcade Mode is short, it is ridiculously fun. And the Saturn disc also includes two variations in Arrange Mode and Hyper Mode so that you won't get too bored too quickly. And I've enjoyed this game enough to research the series further. In fact I've already got a copy of Fighters Megamix pending via trade right now, which combines the Fighting Vipers and Virtua Fighter games into one big glorious mess. Until I play that one, I'll highly recommend fighting fans pick this one up.



Posted on Nov 1st 2012 at 08:28:51 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Sega, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast

So this past month I decided to broaden my collecting goals. Rather than focus exclusively on Dreamcast, I started picking up Sega CD and Saturn stuff as well. I find this adds an even greater selection of interesting games to my library, as the whole early optical media days presents amazing variety from killer 2D games, awkward 3D games and even impressive arcade ports. What's crazy is that this month turned out to be perhaps the most I've added to my collection in a single month this year. Let's take a look, shall we?




First off, I picked up an X'Eye via trade with our very own Duke.Togo. This is actually my household's second X'Eye, though the first is my wife's and resides in our living room. I wanted this one for my main gaming setup. I love the X'Eye. Sure, the CDX is a bit sleeker, but it's also more expensive. Plus the X'Eye is a karaoke machine. Eat your heart out, CDX! Oh and I nabbed that 6-button controller elsewhere.




Some common additions to my US Sega CD library, but good stuff no doubt. Sonic CD is definitely an all-time favorite SCD game, and I was really excited to find Mickey Mania as Mickey's Genesis platformer games were great. Most of these were trades or cheap local pick-ups.




A few pack-in games... the more common edition of Sewer Shark along with the X'Eye pack-ins of Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia and a karaoke sampler.





And finally I've got a copy of Night Trap! It's the blue cardboard re-release version, and in great condition.





Now a pretty big haul of US Saturn games. Mostly commons, but some good stuff in there like D and Fighting Vipers. That 3-Pack is cool as well and came with a really awesome Saturn poster. Most of the Saturn games came from a cheap-o eBay lot.




Oh... and Shining Wisdom!




Not to mention the Nights boxset, which netted me an extra 3D controller. Got this and Shining Wisdom via trade with Ghost Soldier here.




Also managed to grab a copy of Dead Or Alive, which was only released in Japan. This was nabbed off eBay for cheap.




I picked up the Saturn Stunner lightgun for just $7 at my local retro shop. And got that Sega 3 button controller as part of trade with barracuda.




Needed a Saturn arcade stick, so grabbed this boxed Virtua Stick off eBay for $20 shipped. It's certainly nothing amazing, but it'll work for the price. Plus it's cool to have an official Sega stick.




And of course some Dreamcast US games. Definitely some good stuff in there. Most of these were trades or acquired through friends.




Plus a few stand-outs: Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and Marvel Vs Capcom 2 were both from a friend of mine, while the Dream Passport 3 I picked up locally. Dream Passport 3 was a Japanese web browser, but what made it interesting was it had Genesis and Turbo Grafx-16 emulators built in so you could download ROM's off of the Japanese Sega service. Think of it as an early precursor to PSN, XBLA or Virtual Console.




Another trade netted me the Seaman box set, complete with microphone!




And a good friend of mine gave me a great deal on the Dreamcast Agetec stick, which is easily one of my favorite arcade sticks of all time.




That same friend also found me a Japanese Dreamcast keyboard in Typing of the Dead box! He managed to nab it off eBay for super cheap and passed the savings right on to me.




I also picked up one of those Dreamcast SD card readers off eBay, though I haven't had a chance to try it yet. And GreyGhost81 here hooked me up with a free box for a VMU.




Locally I managed to nab five issues of Sega Visions magazine. They're all in great condition.




But probably the coolest swag I've found lately is this "Sega Swirl" t-shirt!



Posted on Oct 16th 2012 at 07:34:36 PM by (noiseredux)
Posted under Saturn, Sega




So here's the thing. I knew very little about D. I knew it was a survival horror game with a cool cover, and not a whole lot more. Yesterday I received it in a trade from fellow RFGenner Barracuda and figured I'd throw it in to make sure it worked. I fired up the Saturn, and opened the manual to see how it worked. "Due to its story, this game has a two hour time limit," I read. "In keeping with the time limit, this game does not contain a pause feature." ...Interesting.

And what began with me testing the game out, turned into me being totally sucked in. Two hours (or a little less really) later, the game had reached its conclusion. I suppose that if I had bought this game when it was first released, then I may have been upset. I mean, two hours? A game that has a linear story, and puzzles I had solved the first time. Surely there'd be little re-playability. I would have maybe felt that I had spent $50 on a game that had run its course in one sitting. Right?





But who knows how I would have really felt then? All I can tell you is how I feel now. I feel thrilled to have played this game. I feel thrilled that I've discovered this series. There are some games out there that go so far beyond being just a fun game -- they are experiences to be had. Special games that you hold close to you forever and are willing to play again and again because of how they affected you. Games like Shadow of the Colossus or Heavy Rain come to mind. These are games not so far removed from an engrossing cinematic experience. Like a favorite movie that you can watch over and over again finding new tiny nuances to latch onto with each new viewing.

D starts off with an amazing cinematic cut scene that puts you in a deserted hospital -- the scene of gruesome murders committed by your father, a doctor. Suddenly the hospital turns into a big abandoned castle-esque mansion. It soon becomes clear that reality isn't part of this story. Instead, it is a story mostly told through mood somewhat akin to a David Lynch film.





The controls may take a few moments to get used to. The point-of-view is first person most of the time, though interactions with the environment take place in the third person. Much of the game consists of solving various puzzles in order to access new areas, somewhat reminiscent of Myst. However the gruesome flashbacks and other bits of disturbing imagery are all far removed from the somewhat relaxing tone of a game like Myst. Indeed this is a creepy game. One where although very little happens you can't help but feel a certain sense of dread (and perhaps urgency from the imposed two hour limit).

Though actual bits of story are told through some rather laughable voice acting, it is nonetheless an incredible experience. One that I won't spoil for you. None of the puzzles are brutally hard. In fact your biggest downfall may well be over-thinking some of them. But at just two hours there's really no excuse for you to not experience this game. After beating it myself I started doing some research and it turns out I got the "bad" ending. Luckily enough D was so compelling to me that I have no problem with the idea of playing through it again just to see the "good" ending. If you are a fan of the macabre, or just fascinatingly unique games in general, I highly urge you to seek out D.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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