8-bit beads

I was planning on blogging about all my newly purchased games both yesterday and today, but I got distracted..

After coming home after work yesterday I sat down and got the idea that I should try to make some of that bead art in 8bit, since I had recently purchased a huuuge box of 20.000 beads for a bachelorette party I was hosting. However we never got to beading so I was just stuck with a bunch of beads!

Beading turned out to be really fun and relaxing, and somewhat addictive! O_o

And it takes forever!

The most time consuming thing is sorting all the beads >_<

But after about 5 hours (I don’t really know, I seriously lost track of time) I had finished my Pac-man and Inky, Blinky, Pinky & Clyde and some variations.

My favorites were these ones:

My boyfriend came home after a fishing-trip at around 11 at night, and I had continued with new characters and hadn’t even taken the time to eat dinner! That’s how addictive it was! I had run out of black beads so I basically had to improvise with the colors..

At 1 past midnight I managed to go to bed… and today after work I said I wouldn’t bead (until I had gotten the new beads I purchased during my lunch hour! I bought 110.000 beads in sorted colours!…i’m serious……they were cheap…) But I still got stuck beading some more.. >_<

It’s fun! You should try it out, unless your easily addicted to things like I am…

Gyromite for NES

Yesterday I watched the episode ROB the Robot from AVGN, and it made me wanna play Gyromite, even though I didn’t have the Robot.

James from AVGN made it clear that it is possible to play the game even though you don’t have a robot. However, it demands control over both the P1 and P2 controller, since the P1 controller steers the character while the A and B button on the P2 controller controls the pillars that you need to move up and down to guide the character through the stage. Here’s AVGN’s solution:

I didn’t quite go to the extent of sawing apart two controllers and attaching them together with duct tape. Instead I played it together with my friend Becky, it’s a great game for 2-player co-op ^_^ However I did need to use two controllers myself while recording the game today for the review, one in each hand, not too difficult except when you need to pick up or place a radish which is controlled with A on the P1 controller:

The cartridge says Gyromite, but the title screen claims the name of the game is Robot Gyro… anyway, Gyromite or “Robot Gyro” is a classic arcade style game where you have to collect all the dynamite on each stage to clear it.

There are Dinosaurs that kill you if you touch them, and your character can not jump, so you will have to figure out ways to go around them, or try to crush them with the pillars. You can also pick up radishes and place in front of the Dinos, this will make them stop and eat for a while so you can pass them.

Gradually the stages get harder, and you will have to collect the dynamites in the correct order, otherwise you might get stuck with no way to get back up to collect the remaining dynamites. Then there’s no other option than to crush yourself or wait for the time to run out..

I made it to stage 35 today, apparently there’s 65 stages in total. I might give it another go the next time I have a friend over, cause it’s just more fun that way ;D

If you haven’t seen the AVGN episode with ROB the Robot you should check it out. I definitely have to get me a ROB eventually ^_^

Here’s a video I put together of the 35 levels I got to:

Gorbachev’s Pipeline (or ゴルビーのパイプライン) for Famicom

Yes, it’s a japanese Famicom game featuring the former President of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the goal is to lay a pipeline throughout Russia. Each dot on the map represents a stage, and the difficulty rises progressively.

Gorbachev however only appears on the Title Screen.

It’s actually a quite entertaining game if you like puzzle games. It resembles Tetris a bit, except here you have pieces of two pipes in each falling block and you will have to connect a pipeline from the right wall to the left by rotating and placing the blocks correctly.

There are quite a few games that resembles this one, like for example Pipe Dream for Game Boy. However Gorby’s Pipeline has a uniqueness to it. There’s different music on the stages, I only played through the first three, but they were all different. I guess it will start looping eventually. Both the animation and music has a very USSR feeling to it, the japanese have portrayed a very cosy image of old Russia. It makes me think of ballets like the nutcracker and swan lake, snowy landscapes, and of course the old fashioned Tetris.

It was fairly hard though, if you are not used to puzzle games it will take some time to think where to put the pieces. I myself have played quite a few puzzlers and love the genre, but Tetris is always easier. (Unless you’re playing NotTetris2)

Here’s a movie I put together of the gameplay:

Play & record 8-bit and 16-bit consoles on your Mac / computer

Making reviews and wanting to be able to record what I’m playing so that I can show through video what the games are like. This has turned out to be a difficult problem to solve, but today I managed to solve all my previous issues.. with a little help from my friends ;D

I started out trying to record with a film camera, filming the TV screen. This was crap. Crappy quality, shaky, bad angles, ugly sound.. etc. So i moved on to borrowing my boyfriend’s brother’s HDPVR, this worked on and off, didn’t work with my NTSC or japanese systems, only my PAL. The recordings got a constant humming in the background sound and it was also a hassle to connect the thing, cords from the HDPVR to the TV, to the laptop (not being able to use my stationary computer=inconvenient) and to the console. I then had to transfer the files from my laptop to my stationary to work with them.

After talking to some stores, I got convinced to buy a DVD recorder. This worked, but not with my NTSC or japanese systems.. also it was a hassle having to record on DVD’s then transfer the files to my computer and convert them to files I could use. The recordings also carried a constant humming sound in the background and the image was laggy..

However the DVD recorder purchase was not in vain. A friend advised me to get the Elgato Video Capture from the apple store.

When I first connected it to the system and straight into the computer it didn’t work. Apparently because the consoles have some built in anti-piracy code (according to my engineer friend). The image looked like this and froze immediately:

BUT when I connected it through the DVD burner into the console the image was perfect, no lag, and I could play the games straight on my iMac, while recording!

It doesn’t look too messy, not too many cords or machines to connect together, and best of all, the sound is perfect!

I’ve been playing a bunch of Streets of Rage on my iMac tonight, with headphones, and OMG that games’ music is just so awesome! This is what the image quality looks like:

This is totally ok for my purpose ^_^

Now I haven’t had time to try it out with my NTSC machines or the japanese yet, but I hope it will work o_O The Elgato is said to be able to take all formats, however I’m not sure if the DVD burner might f*ck it up..
I’ll update once I find out ^_^

Wolfchild for Sega Master System

I recently bought Wolfchild for Sega Master System, mainly because the cover made it look like a really cool game:

Doesn’t that look absolutely rad?!

Well it’s not.. it could have been a really great game, the graphics are really good for an 8-bit game, the enemies and the stages are well designed, the gameplay is kind of fluent.. but.. there is NO MUSIC in ANY of the STAGES! why?? There’s a song during the start screen, this song is totally ok, if they were too lazy to just make any other songs then they could’ve just kept that one during the stages as well! But no, it’s just plain quiet, and you just hear the sounds of your punches and jumps… it’s weird..

Also the story is never being explained during gameplay, or even before that.. you will have to read the back of the cover to know that:
“Chimera terrorists have kidnapped Saul Morrow’s father and killed his mother and brother. Will his ability to transform into a lycanthrope warrior – a man-wolf with psychic powers – be enough to defeat an entire army?”
Or start reading the manual, where they’ve actually made a comic explaining the events, it’s 4 pages long.. or short…:

“Sometime in the future, high atop a remote island somewhere in the southern pacific”… WTF

Still, this comic only explains the event of Saul transforming into a Wolfchild. What about the Chimera terrorists? Who are they? Who is their leader? Why have they kidnapped Saul’s father?
When you’re Game Over the game tells you:

Who the hell is Draxx?!? There’s nothing about him/or her in the manual, or on the back of the cover! This story is really confusing and vague..

Well apart from this, here’s Saul:

After collecting hearts you turn into a wolf (or Wolfchild??) that has Psychic Powers, which apparently makes it possible for you to shoot laser from your paws….

The first boss i ridiculously easy.. you just walk under him and stand behind him and keep punching.. it doesn’t hurt you to touch him.

The game really has some nice graphics and environments, here’s stage 2:

The second boss wasn’t too hard either. There was a simple pattern to his appearances on the screen and you just had to position yourself away from his line of fire and try to get some shots in whenever he appeared.

On the third stage they increased the difficulty level quite a bit. The stage was overall longer than previous ones, also it had a lot of traps and enemies that came at you without a warning, like the larva randomly falling from the ceiling, and this almost always got you hurt.

When I got to the third boss I was really irritated by the game, not having any music and all.. the constant jumping, bumping and punching sounds really got on my nerves.. I wasn’t able to try the spider boss enough to figure out a pattern, and I got Game Over.. I did not feel like starting up the game again.. even though it does give you password codes for each stage, which is a bonus! And the codes are only 5 letters long! Thumbs up Wolfchild, you did something right!

Here’s a video where you can experience the frustration of not having any music while playing.. I eventually looped the intro song (since it is quite good) so you wouldn’t have to listen to the quietness forever.

Someday I might try to finish this game.. but not until I’ve forgotten about the traumatic experience of playing a 16-bit game that feels like an Atari game with bad sound effects and no music.. probably won’t take long though since my memory is terribly short >_<