Unicorn in the wild
I have to imagine the market for this device is pretty slim, but I’m willing to bet one Arch Nerd would be most interested indeed:
It has been almost 4 years since Neo Flash announced their 9th project: the Neo SNES Myth Cart. Many have been long awaiting its arrival and it is finally here.
This is no ordinary type of flash cartridge. It comes in two pieces that need to be combined together with an additional original SNES cartridge when running backup ROM images in the SNES console. The larger piece contains the logic chip, RAM, USB port, SNES cartridge slot, and GBA cartridge slot. A smaller cartridge containing the flash RAM chip is inserted into the GBA cartridge slot for storing and playing games.
There are a few differences between this and SNES backup solutions we have seen come about in the early til mid 1990s. The device is much more compact and almost the size of a typical SNES cartridge. It also does not have a plug for a separate power supply which means that you will need to use it in a deck that supplies enough power to run the cartridge on its own. On the top you will find a USB port to program the device. Most old copiers used a floppy drive and some had a parallel port built in or an external parallel attachment to program their built in RAM. Onboard, you will not find a handful of RAM chips or a microprocessor like in old copiers. There is one memory chip that you load the games to and a programmable logic chip that controls the device’s functions as well.
What it boils down to is this is a giant flash cart for your SNES that allows you to take ROMs and play them on said SNES rather than on an emulator. (I’m sure at least 80% of the people are now thinking ‘what’s the point, then?’, but it’s for the purists who want to play the games running 100% as-intended, since emulation is just that: an emulation, i.e. an approximation of the real thing, and not the actual, well, real thing.)
Anyway, the actual review is LONG but (extremely) informative if you’re in the market for one of these doodads. (Naturally, I’d guess Nintendo wouldn’t be a big fan of such a unit but in a world of rampant emulation, this is probably not going to give the Big N many sleepless nights.)
One important caveat should you fail to read this in its entirety: virtually1 none of the games that use special, on-board, co-processors, work, e.g. the various FX/C4/Etc. chips (StarFox, Megaman X 2, etc.) will not, as yet, function, so caveat emptor. ()
1 The DSP1 games like Super Mario Kart, Pilotwings, etc. do work.
This is, as yet, merely a demo for something that will, hopefully, yet see the blinding light of dawn, but it is a very good one:
You can stake out the demo here.
h/t: Pixel Prospector
Yeah, you wish it looked this good
Rocket Knight returns soon for $15 on 360, PS3 and PC (the lack of a Wii version seems to be a very, very odd omission for this game in particular):
In Rocket Knight, players assume the role of Sparkster, a heroic opossum who returns home to the Kingdom of Zephyrus after 15 years only to discover that wolves have attacked his homeland. Rocket Knight introduces expansive new worlds to the franchise, with massive platform levels as well as rocket-flying levels. Using their wits and a trusty rocket pack, players must overcome the hostile wolf army aiming to attack Sparkster’s beloved kingdom.
Sounds lovely–here’s hoping they didn’t completely f*ck it up, though the kinda lifeless, puppet-like1, graphics built on Platform Game Designer Pro MAXTM don’t inspire hope in the early going (and, man, the music–do NOT screw up the music, Climax!):
And here’s some video for those of you that have been in hibernation for the past six months (which continues to not inspire):
1 Where are my sprites and parallax, damn you!
$150 for 500GB?? Of course I want one, but I’m weak-willed and foolish…like you
OK, it’s hardly a bargain at the per-gigabyte level1, but it’s still pretty neat even if pretty much anyone2 could crack open a SNES cart, Dremel out a hole for a USB cable and you’re gtg, but that would require A. effort and B. an attention span not eroded from decades of playing games like… Super Mario World:
This vintage SNES game, Super Mario World, has been custom crafted and re-purposed into this terrifically geeky external hard drive enclosure! This price is for a 500 GB drive, but it is also available in 320 GB and 640 GB. Contact me for pricing.
Our drives are made with Toshiba 2.5″ hard drives, and are 100% powered by the USB cable: No need to plug it in! USB Cable included with every hard drive. Not a fan of Super Mario World? We can make any game of your choice into a custom enclosure. We have many games in stock, but if we don’t have it, we’ll find it for you. See our Shop Policies section for a complete list of our games in stock.
And they also have these for slightly less dinero3:
Must have over-priced piece of gaming kitsch
1 Still a helluva lot better than what the vultures at Microsoft charge as they feast on your wallet like its Prometheus’ regenerating liver.
2 I mean anyone: your Mom, my brother, an egg-laying green dinosaur, etc.
3 Spanish for less severe fiscal sodomy.
Night of the Living SNES
No, not by turning it on and potentially risking a RROD (except that, well, there is that) but because there’s some small buzz about this latest Xbox Indies title, Breath of Death VII: The Beginning in various, dark, corners of the Internet:
“We’re big fans of classic console RPGs,” said Breath of Death VII designer and programmer, Robert Boyd, “and have been disappointed that this style of games has largely left the home consoles for the portable systems in recent years. Thanks to XBox Live Indie Games, we’ve been able to bring the genre back to the big screen in all its pixelated glory. Not only that, but the game is only 80 MS points ($1 USD). That’s like eighty times cheaper than what these things cost back in the day!”
It’s only a buck1, so perhaps someone2 could could exhale some thoughts in the comments on this pint-sized, pixelly, push into classic console RPG:
1 If I had a buck for every time someone said that about an Xbox Indie title, I’d own Microsoft.
2 No, not me: I barely have time to play the games on my plate/work/eat/sleep/
Coulda Been; Almost Was
2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the non-release of the highly anticipated sequel to Star Fox. By the middle of 1995, it was apparent that despite favourable reviews at the Winter 1995 CES, Nintendo was hesitant to release Star Fox 2 against the superior looking Saturn and PlayStation. The impending launch of the Nintendo 64 also played a part in its cancellation, with Nintendo wanting a clear break between Super FX 3D and N64 3D. Although Nintendo claimed it would be released in the September 1995 issue of Nintendo Power, it was swept under the rug along with other Super FX games like Comanche and FX Fighter. Through the course of time, alpha and near final beta ROM images were leaked. Despite its cancellation, Star Fox 2 remains a highly revered game for its excellent gameplay and intriguing history…
…From the timing of the statement in Nintendo, it appears that Star Fox 2 was completed in Summer 1995 (the “final” beta that was leaked has a time stamp of June 22, 1995 inside the test mode menu). Although the impending release of the Nintendo 64 factored into the decision to cancel the game, I’m sure the impressive release of of the PlayStation also factored into it. Despite sporting excellent gameplay that outshone most Saturn and PlayStation games released in 1995, the graphics were definitely not impressive in comparison…
…Thanks to the efforts of Aeon Genesis, Star Fox 2 was fully translated to English and the last of the bugs/cheats (i.e. the bug where the Arwing can transform in space levels and Corneria not getting damage when attacked) were fixed. The translation patch came out on October 17, 2004, over two years after the beta was leaked onto the Internet. Even at that point emulators had trouble running the game, though it appears that zsnes 1.40 came out a couple of months later with support. I’ll admit that I never got around to playing the patch until I started the article, which probably is why I never updated this page for years and incorrect information was allowed to perpetuate (many of the pieces of incorrect information on the Wikipedia page for Star Fox 2 appear to have come from the old article). I think the translation is excellent, though admittedly Star Fox 2 is not the most story driven game. The patch gives the game a nice bit of polish to make it look like it would have if it was released…
Worth reading in full, if gaming esoterica is your bag.
H/T: Games That Weren’t (but sorta are anyway)
(Sorta) UPDATE: Video for those that don’t want/care to muck around w/ emulators:
1 Still, you gotta admire something that heavily-referenced in Geekdom–it’s almost like actual…journalism.