I know there are about 20 of the original NES games that came with built-in Famicom converters. For those of you that weren’t already aware of this fact, basically, what Nintendo of America did was take the original Japanese PCBs from the Famicom games and add them onto an adapter that contained a lock-out chip so it could only be played on North American system. And is also essentially why American NES carts are so much bigger than Famicom carts. Anyway, of those original games with the adapters, the Japanese PCB would contain either the standard CHR and PRG mask roms, or black blobs – the latter I tend to see far more commonly. What I have never seen, until now, was the picture below.
I opened up my Pinball because I wanted to use the adapter for something else, but I immediately changed my mind once I saw the board. I have never before seen a Famicom board that looked like this, let alone any Nintendo game that had 2 PRG mask roms.
I did a little research and checked around to see if good ol’ Google would turn up anything, even just a picture of a similar board. Couldn’t find anything, so I just figured I’d share. I guess I’d like to know if anyone else has any games like this and just how common/rare these are.
Been putting together some Mother 25th Anniversary carts to come with me to the Lock City Comic Con in CT this July. Hopefully a Slurpee will be coming with me as well. Mother 25th Anniversary Edition is basically a big overhaul of the Mother/Earthbound Zero prototype that was never released for the original NES.
Come check out the GamesquadSquad booth if you happen to be in the area. I’ll have this and a bunch of other NES repros, custom cases, and perler art and hopefully a special guest with some hand-made, knitted, wearable nerdery.
Finally got the Etsy store up in full swing for the NES reproductions; making selling them much easier for both the buyer and myself. It still needs some work, but it’s up. I’ve even got my first sale and review already.
Two more completed carts ready to roll out. Took me forever to make the label for Donkey Kong. Not that it was hard or anything, I just couldn’t land on a design I liked for it. Eventually landed on the classic arcade image and I think it fits rather well.
Adventure Island IV was never released in America. It came out in 1994 for the Japanese Famicom and by that time, the Super Nintendo had already cemented itself as the preeminent system. So this, like many other games that were developed late in the life of the original NES, was never given its fair shake on the American market.
Not sure how to accurately label this one. I would call it Original Donkey Kong, but they already have that for the NES, but it’s not an entirely accurate title. So Donkey Kong Pie Factory I suppose would be the best choice, but it makes it sound like an entirely different game. What it is, is the complete arcade version of Donkey Kong with the extra level that was removed from the NES console version.
Certain games never make it past development for stupid reasons. I can’t find a good one for Hit the Ice not being released. A hockey game with RPG elements and slap-stick humor (pun intended!). You can’t miss (also pun intended?). Anyway, it’s a silly, fun game that never made it past the prototype phase. They had the rom and the cart out there, but no finished product. Click on the picture below if you’d like to see some gameplay footage and send me a message if you’d be interested in owning your own copy!
Just finished beating Adventures of Pip, by Tic Toc Games. The full release will be available in May for Xbox One, PS4, 360, PC, Mac and Wii U, but it got an early release on Steam. I’m not sure how completely done the game is though. At least I’m hoping what was released on Steam isn’t the finished product. It seems almost fully polished. It’s a solid platformer with excellent controls and all gameplay elements are there and I didn’t encounter any bugs, but it’s lacking some music. Worlds 2 and 3 use the same tracks and every stage in each world uses the same music throughout. Boss music is also sadly absent. There just wasn’t enough variety. Jake Kaufman is responsible for the soundtrack and I’ve never been disappointed by his work, so I’m hoping it all just hasn’t been added in yet.
Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of pure platforming games. I’ll play them, but they tend to get too aggravating too fast or I simply lose interest because there’s generally no substance. Adventures of Pip provided just the right amount of difficulty (for me anyway) and had a few challenges but nothing that got too rage-quit inducing. For the less casual platform gamer, I can see this game getting picked up and blown through in a single sitting.
Overall I enjoyed the game, which for the designer of a platformer, is quite a challenge to get me to say. Below is the full playthrough done on Twitch, laid out stage by stage. We had some technical difficulties throughout. Audio levels especially in the first video. It’s mostly the commentary (which is asinine anyway) that has problems. Game audio is pretty much fine.
About a month ago I stumbled across something called “My Retro Game Box” on my friend’s Facebook feed. It was another one of those box-a-month subscription programs where they fill a box with random goodies and send it to you, except this one was specifically retro video games. Obviously I was immediately interested. I did some research and found out that it’s a relatively new, small mom & pop operation run out of Scotland. Now my collection has gotten to the point where the games that I am missing are very specific, so I was a little skeptical about signing up for a subscription where I would be sent random games. But I was curious enough to see how it all worked out, so I signed up for 1 month just to check it out.
They’re very friendly and right off the bat they send you a questionnaire asking you to list all the games you have for NES, SNES, Genesis/Mega Drive, N64, Sega Master System, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance and then even asked what game preferences you had and said they would strive their best not to send you things outside of your personal tastes. One of the things I found most intriguing, is that they give you the option to get PAL or NTSC games. Doubtful it would ever reach me, but I’d love to see Probotector, the PAL version of Contra where everything is a robot, arrive in one of my boxes. They give you the option to do subscriptions by 1 month for £23, 3 months for £65, 6 months £125, and a year for £230. All those prices are in British pounds sterling btw, for those who didn’t understand what they funny symbol was. I was glad they single month purchases for those who wish to remain noncommittal and it allowed me to take just a taste of what they had to offer.
A few days ago, in my mailbox was a unassuming, nondescript, small, rectangular, brown box. And I never would have known it was from a subscription service if it didn’t have a little round sticker on it from, “My Retro Game Box.” To add to the mystery of what games you are randomly sent, they place them in these delightful little striped paper bags. I ended up getting Wrath of the Black Manta and Defender of the crown, both for the NES and both rather ho-hum games. But I also got Dr. Mario for the Game Boy and it was the PAL version, so I was happy about that. I’d actually rather get PAL games. Feels more exotic.
Overall, I’m pleased with this service. I decided to go for another month more out of curiosity than anything else. There’s something exciting about random video games. With ebay, Craig’s List, Amazon, etc, the thrill of the hunt is gone. I don’t expect to ever get Earthbound, or Chrono Trigger or anything of course, but there’s almost 800 games for the NES alone and I don’t even have half of them. My only complaint with My Retro Game Box would have to be their website. It’s rather bland and unintuitive. I understand that they are just starting out and it’s only like 2 people working on it, so I can look past it.