Dark Souls III Super Review: Tough Action

Real Talk By: The Wizard

Being a huge Souls Fan since the good ol’ days of Demon’s Souls, and even King’s Field way back on PS1.  I have been so eager to not only play DS III, but to do a write-up.  I picked up Dark Souls III on release, and easily could of written up a quick review after only 10 hours a day of game-time, but that’s not legit.  Here at Play Legit, we are about what is legit, and that means unbiased, gamer’s perspective reviews from someone who has invested a great deal of time into the game.  A real review drops when someone has invested a serious amount of time in the game to learn the mechanics, and to make sure they completely understand the game, thus giving the game a fair scoring.  Since I have now dumped over 70 hours into Dark Souls 3, and am nearing the end of my second play through, I feel the time has come.  So let’s get this thing started. Continue reading “Dark Souls III Super Review: Tough Action”

Magical Chase Retro Review

Real Talk By: The Wizard

Magical Chase is a Hu-Card released for the PC Engine in Japan in 1991, and released for the American Turbo Grafx-16 in the very last day of December in 1993. It was developed by Palsoft, and distributed by a company called Quest. It is said to be the very last English Hu-Card released for the console. This article will be a review of the American version of the game, which I owned, and beat many times over in the late 90’s, and most recently a few weeks ago. Before we get started here is a little excerpt direct from the English manual to get you up to date on the story. Continue reading “Magical Chase Retro Review”

Top 10 Sega Dreamcast Games of All Time

Real Talk By: The Wizard

Ask any retro gamer, and all but the most hardcore Nintendo fanboy will agree, the Sega Dreamcast was a great system. A lot of people will claim the only reason the Dreamcast is so great is due to the fact that it is incredibly easy to burn and play illegal game discs and emulators on. Don’t fall victim to their lie! The Sega Dreamcast was a system with a very diverse genre of titles to choose from. Continue reading “Top 10 Sega Dreamcast Games of All Time”

The Guardian Legend Retro Review (NES)

Real Talk By: The Wizard

If you’ve played through a lot of the NES library and are looking for something different, today we will be reviewing The Guardian Legend. This is somewhat of a hybrid developed by Compile way back in 1988. It takes 2 great genres, Action RPG and SHMUP, and attempts to meld them together to create one great game. Continue reading “The Guardian Legend Retro Review (NES)”

Final Fantasy 1 Retro Review (NES)

ffnes3

Real Talk By: The Wizard

Ah, good ol’ Final Fantasy. The original game that started the legacy on the original Nintendo Entertainment System way back in 1990. Odds are you have heard of Final Fantasy, or probably even played a Final Fantasy game in the past. You may be wondering how this game stacks up among the rest, and if it is worth adding to your collection. So let’s get on with the review and find out if this game stands the test of time.

First let’s start with the story. Final Fantasy is a RPG about the 4 warriors of light that must defeat the 4 fiends of earth. Basically the fiends are destroying the earth and it is up to you to find, and destroy them to restore earth back to its natural state. I could go much more in-depth here, but that is a brief overview of what is going on. The story is actually quite deeper and revolves around a character named Garland who makes a pact 2000 years earlier, and then sends the fiends to present day. Ultimately the game is about finding and defeating Garland. In the beginning of the game you simply pick your party, and the game begins with a sort of prequel before the real story unfolds. You have a few choices here in regard to your party. You can pick from 6 different classes that for the most part, need no description. You can choose from the fighter, thief, black mage, white mage, black belt, and red mage. The red mage is a sort of jack of all trades. He can use both white and black magic, and can use swords, but is not very proficient in any. He is a good all-around character, but probably the weakest asset of the bunch. He can use some special weapons that come in handy quite a bit, mainly weapons that are strong against a specific creature type. The black belt is very powerful, but cannot wear good armor. You will be tricked through the game when various shops try to sell you weapons for the black belt, but never buy them. The black belt is meant to be a bare-handed character and will wreck shop starting very early in the game. Ultimately your character choices have zero impact on how the story unfolds, and there are no special areas designed for a specific class. So your pick is basically up to your taste. My normal party consists of fighter, black belt, white mage, and black mage. This is a great all around party that will get you through the game. There is not much story here. You will never be stopped in the middle of the game for a long period while the story unfolds (like in other Final Fantasy games). In a way you have to it together and reach your own conclusions. If you talk to villagers, you will be rewarded with pieces of story to take note of, and match up later in-game. If you really want to get in-depth I highly suggest just picking up the official Nintendo Power Strategy Guide. It is full of story, and will make the game much more enjoyable.

ffnes
Your Party of Four is ready for anything.

 

As for the gameplay, Final Fantasy is your pretty standard old school RPG. It consists of random encounters, with turned based combat. The basic formula of the game is gather information in town, grind a few levels to buy equipment, search for the next fiend, find his lair, get butt handed to you, come back, grind more, buy 100 potions, buy 50 antidotes, blinds etc., camp out in front of fiend lair to restore HP and MP, attempt dungeon again, repeat till you win. This may sound pretty tedious, and it is. This my friends is the beginning of the aspect of Japanese RPG’s called the grind fest. You will learn to love or hate it in Final Fantasy. If you do not grind, you will not make it very far. The dungeons the 4 fiends reside in are long, and full of powerful enemies that will stun, and murder your entire party without remorse. Then you will be expected to “escape” back outside after having won a tough boss fight, with your warriors running on E. The grinding is not awful, but it will probably require going into a dungeon, and looting as much as possible before returning home, and coming back to the fully looted dungeon to take on the boss. There really isn’t much else to talk about except the very annoying part of combat where you miss if you have targeted an enemy who has died. For example it might sound cool to put all 4 characters on one ogre to get him out-of-the-way. If your black belt gets a critical hit and destroys him, all the rest of your party will miss. This is very annoying and makes you really have to gauge how fast you can kill a monster, and divide your attacks accordingly. For example, you might want your mages to attack a weak monster the whole round and eventually chip his life away, while your fighter and black belt handle the real threats. That way every single point is doing damage and you are winning faster. Or you may get a hit with the black belt one round, and the enemy does not die as expected. Then it might be a good idea to have your white mage go in next round to finish him off while the black belt moves on to a tougher foe. You will eventually devise a system to your liking, and it will make the game more enjoyable, because whiffing is not acceptable in this game. Literally every hit counts, and can be the difference between a fast win, or your entire party being paralyzed and man handled.

For a pretty early NES game Final Fantasy has very acceptable graphics. I personally think the game looks pretty good, but is far from the best looking NES game out there. You won’t find the NES being pushed to the limits. The game runs very smooth, and there are no issues with slow-down or blinking sprites. As for the music, this is where the game really shines. The music is fantastic. Matoya’s Cave is still one of my all-time favorites, and the token village music is great too. There are some classic tracks on here that are the staple of every Final Fantasy game after. The music really adds to the enjoyment of the game, and it should help keep you playing.

ffnes1
Random encounters are in full effect. Stay on guard.

 

In conclusion I would have to recommend Final Fantasy to anyone who has never played it if you are a Final Fantasy, or RPG fan. It won’t stand out among most of the later SNES or PS1 Final Fantasy games, but as far as rankings go, I would put it somewhere in the middle of all the true games in the main series. If you get the official Nintendo Power guide you will enjoy the game that much more, and once you get your battle tactics down you will realize the grinding isn’t that bad. It really just comes down to scouting out the fiend lair, and preparing correctly. If you are fighting undead mainly, stock up on potions to use on undead enemies, and to save precious magic spell slots. Read up on the various spells online and pick ones that are the best, because your spell slots are limited, and you must choose wisely. For example the back mage has a spell called “rub” which is probably the best spell in the game against non-boss characters. If you are playing a re-make the name of this spell was changed for whatever reason. If you complete the game and are up for a challenge, I highly recommend the “white mage challenge”. Basically you pick all 4 white mage’s in the beginning and try to beat the game. Not a task for the faint of heart, or weenies.

Final Fantasy is a standard RPG with good graphics, excellent music, and not much story. But it has charm, and charm goes a long way. It is easily one of the best NES RPG’s, and a solid RPG candidate among all systems. Especially for those looking for a little challenge, and another Final Fantasy game to complete. It’s kind of hard to dock it for some of its shortcomings since it is an old NES game, and the majority of NES games are nowhere near as polished. Final Fantasy 1 was the first RPG I ever played. It was given to me by my cousin who though it was awful, and I instantly fell in love with the genre. I am trying to grade this from a perspective of someone who has no nostalgic feelings toward the game, and that is why it will not get a perfect score.

 

Final Fantasy Gets

4mf

4 Out of 5

 

What’s Legit?

+Great music.

+Challenging.

+Decent length.

What’s Perpetrating?

Character’s don’t recalculate and attack another enemy, if the previous was defeated.

Lacking story without the official guide.

#FF @PlayLegit

final71

 

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Review: Epic Sounds (3DS)

curtainCall

Real Talk By: The Wizard

No doubt 2014 has been “the year” for the Nintendo 3DS. We have seen many great titles this year on Nintendo’s little handheld. Games like Smash Bros, Bravely Default, Pokemon’s, Mario Golf, Persona Q, and others have given us many hours of enjoyment. But there are also excellent titles that seem to fly under the radar virtually unnoticed.

Theatrhytm: Final Fantasy was one of those “under the radar” titles released back in 2012. In my opinion it was the best game no one played. It did have its flaws, but it was a very enjoyable title. It basically is a rhythm based game with RPG elements, all played to some epic Final Fantasy music. Think Guitar Hero with a stylus, but instead of pressing and holding buttons on the guitar, you tap, swipe, and hold the stylus in sync with musical notes. The RPG elements are all about picking a party, and completing levels to gain experience. The more you used Cloud Strife, the more experience points he would get toward using magic spells, and other abilities. You could pick and choose what to equip depending on the type of level you were playing, and even create an entire party based on how you wanted to tackle a level. The game consisted of three different types of playing fields. You had the battle instances, which resemble turn-based combat playing fields. They are a frantic mix of tapping and swiping the stylus all to the battle music from previous Final Fantasy games. There are field stages, which play world map music, and are more about holding the stylus and dragging. Finally there are event stages that play similar to the motions used in the battle sequences, but they are much slower paced and have cut-scenes from memorable Final Fantasy games playing in the background. Theatrhythm was a great game, with a half-way decent amount of depth. You would play it, and enjoy it, but you felt like it was lacking slightly regarding certain aspects.

Fast forward to 2014 and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call was quietly released. Upon reading up on this game a few months before coming out I wondered exactly what this was all about. The first one had a lot of songs, especially when factoring in DLC. I really had no idea what to expect. How could they really improve a game that was already pretty great? All I could think was maybe they were releasing more songs that were in the original Theatrhythm DLC, and including a few more characters. I really had no idea what to expect from this game. I liked the original enough to go in blindly and pre-order Curtain Call, but was curious how it would stack up to the original, and if I could even justify buying the game again.

Rock out to beat the beast.

 

Theatrhythm: Curtain Call is a rhythm game almost exactly like the original. There are actually quite a few differences though. Seeing how this is a music based game let’s just start with the music. It pretty much goes without saying the music is top-notch. Not only is the music great, but the amount of tracks compared to the original Theatrhythm is completely ludicrous in a good way. There are well over 200 tracks this time shipped with the game. This is not counting DLC tracks that you can purchase. Also, the amount of games that have music pulled from them is very diverse. I was pleasantly surprised to see tracks not only from the main games in the series, but also from other games like Final Fantasy Tactics. If you are a Final Fantasy fan the vast majority of music you want in the game is probably there already. Surprisingly, the tracks sound great even though they are not on CD based media. So no complaints so far.

In the game-play department Curtain Call again plays pretty much the same as the first Theatrhythm, but with minor differences. For example some of the notes look slightly different, and they also seem to pop louder when you hit one correctly. There are also more characters, spells, and abilities to choose from this time around. There are still many of the staple gameplay modes from the original like free play mode, story mode, and the street pass mode that revolves around “Dark Notes”. These are scores that you complete, and pass to a fellow player via Street Pass for them to challenge. You also set up a custom profile card so people can see your overall scores and ranking compared to theirs. I was pretty surprised after playing the game for a few hours to see I unlocked online mode where you go head to head in real-time against another player via online ranked battles. My main complaint with the original Theatrhythm was that there was no online mode, so I was a happy camper at this point. I really enjoy the online mode, but I must say my one main gripe here is that it feels like it relies heavily on luck. If a player gets enough chains then you are hit with a negative status ailment. This can be a bit annoying because it is random and you always feel like you are passing the weak status ailment’s to your foe, and getting all the worse ones. Still it is a fun little mode, I just wish there was a mode where you just go head to head and only your skill, and party setup were what land you a win. There are a few other modes that I will not get into detail about, as this is already a long post. Just rest assured Curtain Call is packed full of content, and there is plenty to keep you busy for hundreds of hours.

theatrhythm3
Chickens N Harmony

 

As far a graphics are concerned Theatrhythm does look good. I would not go as far as to say it looks amazing. The 3DS is not flexing any muscles. It does however look more than acceptable. Besides, this is a rhythm game, the graphics mean next to nothing. Don’t be expecting any adult like character models as well, all the characters have a sort of deformed cutesy look.

 

In conclusion Theatrhythm Curtain Call is a great game. If you played the first expect more everything. Simply put it is better in every way, shape, and form, with tons of content to keep you busy for many months. There are really only a few things I would change about the game. First I would add currency to the game so you could buy equipment for your characters. Second, I would add an online mode where there are no status ailments. That’s pretty much it. These are only small gripes that really do not impact my score of the game. I still find myself totally addicted and unable to turn off my 3DS. You will constantly find yourself saying “after one more song, I’m done, really I am”. If you are a fan of Final Fantasy, or rhythm based games, Curtain Call is a no-brainer. I would even go as far as to say if you are not a fan of either genre to give it a go. It really is that good and might turn you into a fan. Besides, you can justify downloading the free demo to give it a whirl.

 

I will probably catch a storm here, but I would easily say Curtain Call is the best handheld game of 2014, and one of the strongest games in the Final Fantasy franchise in recent years. Yes, better than Smash Bros., Bravely Default, and every Pokémon game. Don’t even bother with the original Theatrhythm, Curtain Call makes it pointless to ever even consider picking it up except for the die-hard fan that must own every Final Fantasy game. Curtain Call will end up being a desirable game, that will disappear from the shelves in a few years. Just go buy it now while you can still find it easily.

Theatrhytm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call Gets

5mf

5 Out of 5

What’s Legit?

+Addicting

+Lots of Customization

+Music is Great

+A Nintendo game with an online mode!

What’s Perpetrating?

-Online can feel like it relies on luck at times

-I do wish characters could buy and equip weapons and armor

#FF @PlayLegit

finalft

Interesting NES Games You May Have Overlooked

contraforce

Real Talk By: The Wizard

If you’re looking to get back into playing Nintendo, then you surely remember the best games. Zelda, Contra, Super Mario, Mega Man, Punch-Out!! etc. Maybe you want to check out some games that were not the most popular, but good, or even better than the games you remember. Continue reading “Interesting NES Games You May Have Overlooked”

NES Hardware For Beginners: Making The Best Buy

SONY DSC

Real Talk By: The Wizard

When many of us think of the Nintendo Entertainment System we are taken back to a time when life was simpler, with fewer worries. A time when instead of working a full-time job, we came home from school, begging our parents for just one hour to play Nintendo before homework. If you are one of the lucky people to be around in arguably one of the best, if not the most significant era’s of gaming, then you, and your grandmother must be familiar with the Nintendo Entertainment System. The first thought that probably materializes into your brain is that gray and black box, with the blinking lights when the game refused to load. Blowing in the cartridges, and wiggling the game just right to get it to load up first try. No doubt you probably mastered how to get your games to working first try like some sort of Ninjtendo. Then you are probably reminded of when the game first booted up, and you can still hear after over 25 years The Legend of Zelda theme music, and still hum every note on key. Surely you can still remember the infamous Konami code you entered to get 30 lives in Contra and Life-Force. You probably even remember the exact order, and weapons used to defeat every boss in Mega Man II. Good times indeed!

If you are one of the many people out there who is interested in reliving your cherished childhood memories and play some classic NES games again, then this article should be perfect for you. This is an article for people with excellent taste in video games who want to play original Nintendo games, on original hardware best suited for their needs. I will go over various consoles in the NES and Famicom line of products and explain why it is, or why it is not a good choice to purchase them. So let’s get things moving right along:

 

American Hardware:

Original Nintendo (NES)

NES

This is the gray box you are familiar with that resembles a VHS tape deck. The sole reason for many uncompleted homework assignments, and un-mowed lawns. The one thing your parents regretted buying you the most for Christmas, and the one thing you cherished most until Super Nintendo came out.

Pros:

  • Has composite (AV) video built-in, which is very acceptable quality for the time.
  • can be hooked up to a stereo system in mono.
  • It’s the model you know and love.
  • Readily available, though inflated in price.

Cons:

  • Does not play Japanese Famicom games without hard to find converters. Most of these converters require ribbons to pull the games out. These are annoying to use and very overpriced. The Honeybee converter is a prime example of eBay price jacking. You can make your own if you can pull one out of a 5 screw NES launch title game like Gyromite, but you still need power tools to modify it due to the deep NES cartridge slots. Then you need to sacrifice an old nes game and cut up the shell to make the converter be able to fit and accept Famicom games. Unless of course you want to dismantle your system.
  • The horizontal VHS style loading system is hard on the contacts of the games, and will wear them down over time faster.
  • The 72 pin connectors wear out and need replaced. Then the new 72 pin connectors “Kung-Fu Grip” your games making it very hard to remove them, or use a ribbon based converter. I have had to resort to using pliers to get games out before. You can repair the connectors yourself though by bending them back in place. Pretty easy to do and will save you a few bucks, and you can avoid kung-fu grip.
  • The English NES is missing audio channels found on all models of the Japanese Famicom consoles. Castlevania 3 is a prime example of how superior the sound in the Famicom is. Just check out this YouTube video and decide for yourself.
  • Nearly impossible to hook up a Famicom Disk System.
  • Security chip present. This is the sole reason you got the blinking lights. The NES thought you were inserting pirated software and the gray screen would boot up denying you access to your game. This can be clipped though to bypass. Search tutorials online. Incredibly easy.

The original NES is a solid system. For the average collector it should suffice. Especially if you have no desire to ever play imports. Just know there are better alternatives out there, and a whole world of amazing games never released in the USA. The issues mentioned can be fixed for the most part. You can modify your console for the extra audio channel. You can also easily cut a pin on the security chip to de-activate it. The deal breaker for me in the ultimate decision to sell my NES was:

  • Lack of audio channels leading to inferior sound
  • The annoyance of trying to play import games with overpriced crap converters.
  • Inability to hook up a Famicom Disk System without major exterior change.
  • The rise of price in uncommon games being sold at ridiculous rates. Little Sampson is notable example. The NES version is not rare and sells for over $350.00, the Famicom version Lickle sells for less than $125.00 any day of the week.

Nintendo Top Loader

toploaderusa

This is the very desirable Top Loading Nintendo. Don’t ask me why everyone wants it so badly. If anything this is a downgrade from the original NES console!

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Games load up much easier.
  • No annoying security Chip.
  • Easier to get converters to work due to cartridge slots not being as deep.

Cons:

  • Only has RF video! This is the deal breaker. Unacceptable and ridiculous Nintendo didn’t include Composite AV jacks. Sole reason I would never buy one. In case you’re wondering, RF is that very old connection that looks like a giant screw on the back of your television. It’s the crappiest video signal known to man next to the old connection where you had to physically screw in the 2 prongs with the alligator clips. Yeah, you can get them modded for AV, but you’re going to spend a lot more, and you will see down the road, still be at a disadvantage.
  • They put a hump on the back to try to keep importers from hooking up the Famicom Disk System.

Japanese Hardware:

Famicom Family Computer

famicom

The original Family Computer was a bit different from the American NES. It used a completely different cartridge connection. The American NES uses a 72 pin connector, and the Japanese console uses a 60 pin connection. Japanese games will not work in an American NES, and vice versa. In my opinion the original Japanese Famicom is the best looking console. But it has many issues that will drive Americans away.

Pros:

  • You can play Japanese games on it.
  • You can hook a Famicom Disk System to it.
  • It’s the only console to have a microphone, which is mounted to the second player controller. Some games use this feature. Like the Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda.
  • It has extra audio channels.
  • No security chip.
  • Extra controller port for the Zapper or ROB.

Cons:

  • Controllers are mounted to the console. Which means you are stuck with them if they break. And to add more frustration the controller cords are only 3 ft long. It is also worth mentioning that the microphone on the second player controller comes at a cost. For the second player controller there is no select or start button. There is however 1 controller port for hooking up another controller or light gun. However, this is for player 1 only.
  • You are forced to use only Japanese RF video output. This is where the line is drawn. Japanese RF is even worse than American RF for the sole reason there is no guarantee you will be able to get it working without some sort of adaptor. If you remember the old American RF then you might recall that you had to set the television to channel 3 or 4 to get the video working. With Japanese RF the channel normally has to be set somewhere in the 90’s if I remember right. Just trust me on this one, I have been through this in the past, and it can be very annoying. A lot of old televisions in America don’t go that high. With a newer television you can probably get things working, but a lot of people prefer to play on old tube televisions which display scanlines and make the picture look better with old games. If you play a NES on a newer LCD television you can see that the picture looks too good sometimes, and you can see all the pixels. Scanlines help hide things so the game doesn’t look as bad, by hiding the blockiness of the pixels to a small degree.

AV Famicom

av
Image Source: Nintendo Life

This is the second model of the Japanese Famicom. It looks almost identical to the American Top Loader, with a few differences. It is said this version was released because Japanese consumers complained about the hard-wired original Famicom controller ports, and bad video signal.

Pros:

  • NES style controller ports.
  • The annoying hump found on the American Top Loader is not present, therefore there is Famicom Disk System supported natively.
  • Games load up easily.
  • No Security chip.
  • Extra audio channels are present.
  • The best part. It’s not referred to as the AV Famicom for nothing. This comes with an on board connector that is identical to the American Super Nintendo AV cord. So you have composite AV right out of the box with no need to get the console modded.

Cons:

  • Does not play American NES games. However do note, converters to play English games on a Japanese console are plentiful. They are a bit tricky though. You need to play with them to figure out how to get the games loaded up. Normally this involves making sure the USA cartridge is seated properly. The label almost always faces away from you. Then you usually have to barely pull the game cartridge toward you a tad bit to get a good connection. Once you get it figured out you will be pleased to see these converters work almost every time. Here is a link to a cheap one that works great.
  • No microphone (but who cares).
  • No extra controller port, but it has NES style controller jacks so no big deal.

 

Sharp Twin Famicom

twinsharp

The Sharp Twin Famicom is a very cool console. It is very desirable due to the fact that it has a Famicom Disk System, and cartridge system built right in! It also comes in various color combinations, and there are 2 variations. The original model has 3 ft controller cords, and the second revision has 6 ft cords and turbo controllers.

Pros:

  • Composite RCA Jacks.
  • Extra controller port for hooking up a Zapper or ROB.
  • It’s 2 consoles in 1.
  • Looks really cool and you can pick a color that you like.
  • Has extra audio channels.
  • No security chip.

Cons:

  • It’s really large.
  • Pretty expensive, and due to the size it costs a lot to ship from Japan.
  • It also uses hard-wired controllers, but if you can find the second model with 6ft controller cords this shouldn’t be a huge issue, unless your controller breaks.

 

Sharp Famicom Titler

sharp famicom titler
Image Source: Famicom World

I know little of this obscure console. I have never had the privilege of owning one. But here is a paste from Wikipedia:

“Nintendo-licensed Famicom-compatible device produced by Sharp Corporation in 1989. The console was released exclusively in Japan at a retail price of 43,000 yen. The system was the only consumer-level Famicom to internally generate RGB video, the only Famicom system with S-Video output, and it has been noted for its crisp clarity of image. The system also functioned as a subtitle-generator and it could be used in combination with a RF-video camera to create gameplay videos and demos.”

Pros:

  • Obviously this system has the best native video signal. On board S-Video and internal RGB. You really can’t beat that!
  • Has extra audio channels.
  • No security chip.

Cons:

  • Crazy expensive! Look to pay upwards of $700.00 for one. This will make it out of reach for pretty much everyone except the most hard-core collector. You would be better off just getting another console and having it modded for RGB, AV, or S-Video.
  • Again. Hard-wired controllers with short cords.

What’s this Famicom Disk System (FDS) thingy?

SONY DSC

I have mentioned the FDS numerous times in this article, and you may be wondering what it is. The FDS is a add-on for the Famicom console that stores, and plays games on hard floppy disk’s. It sits under the console, and there is a RAM cartridge that plugs in the cartridge slot. The disk’s have 2 sides “A” & “B”, and must be flipped at times. One of the really neat things is that game data can be saved in games like Metroid, to avoid writing down huge passwords. These were released in Japan because the games were cheaper to manufacture. There were even kiosk’s in Japan where you could take your game, and have a new one written to it. If only Nintendo offered such a service now. I would love to switch out my Donkey Kong 3DS for Fire Emblem! The Famicom Disk System is a really cool system, but it does come with a little baggage.

  • The system uses a rubber-band belt mechanism, and the belts wear and break. They can be changed, but then you are going to have to re-calibrate the system, among other things. It isn’t terribly hard to do, but it does take some practice, and a little asking around on forums to keep these things up and running until you learn how to take care of them.
  • The game disk’s are very prone to erasing, you have to be very careful with these games. They are getting old, and honestly I question whether it is even worth collecting for anymore. But it is a great console.
  • The system can run on batteries. I can’t remember is its C or D batteries, but it is a lot of them. Which can lead to you purchasing a system with a battery compartment corroded with acid. So ask this question specifically before any purchase, and if the belt is new. This can run off of a power supply. So just try to buy one with a power supply, or research online for a compatible Radio Shack one.
  • This is just one of those consoles, that you should probably expect to have issues with. It may even arrive and need a little TLC. Be ready to jump in and try to fix this on your own. Part of retro game collecting is learning how to fix things on your own that is easy. And the Famicom Disk is an easy but annoying system to care for.

Conclusion

rob

At this point you should have a pretty good idea of what to look for. Either you want to just play American games, or maybe you want to play Japanese games as well. There is one major consideration though, and that is the recent inflation of American games in the last 3 years. Most specifically games on various Nintendo consoles. It truly is ridiculous. Everything on eBay is “OMG L@@K SO SUPER RARE LIKE GOLD FOR YOUR SHELF!!! BUY NOW BEFORE GONE!!!”. You will know what I mean if you start looking at eBay auctions. For about 99% of those games, they are not rare at all. Even Japanese games are slowly climbing as people realize they are cheaper, and in some cases just as playable. I am going to give you my personal opinion, and that is get a Japanese AV Famicom, one of the cheap converters from http://www.stoneagegamer.com to play American games, and if you want to, get a Famicom Disk System. If you truly want to start building up a good collection being able to collect USA and JP is the best, and not to mention easiest option on your wallet. You will buy mainly USA games, but get the super expensive and Japan exclusive games on Famicom, like Little Sampson, Holy Diver, and Bubble Bobble 2. This will also give you the flexibility to decide whether you want the English or Japanese version of a specific game, like Castlevania 3, or many of the games that had stuff cut out, like Contra (Probotector), Bionic Commando (Hitler no Fukkatsu) and such in Japanese format to get a real experience. To be completely blunt, the Japanese have treated American gamer’s like we have the maturity, and mental capacity of a three-year old since the 80’s, to the present. And it’s probably never going to change. So do yourself a favor and research games that have better Japanese versions. Watch YouTube videos, research forums like DigitPress, Nintendo Age, Neo-Geo, Assembler and such. And save yourself the frustration of learning that the copy of Castlevania 3 you purchased is inferior.

For those of you that want to play games on original hardware, I have a tempting alternative for you. I mentioned the Everdrive N8 earlier for the Famicom, and there is even an American NES version. You can research them again at http://www.krikzz.com. They can be purchased from a few different vendors, but I am going to highly recommend spending a little more and just getting them locally from http://www.stoneagegamer.com. Stone Age Gamer sells The best Everdrive cartridges hands down! I have purchased from him in the past, and currently have a order pending from him now. They are top-notch quality! In case you are wondering the Everdrive line of products are flash cartridges designed for loading ROMS and playing on real hardware. This is not emulation, and there are no ancient parallel cables, or software that runs on old unsupported operating systems. Just a cart, SD Card, and the desire to play video games is all you need. This is the real experience for those who want to play backups of games they own, or even games they have developed. They are priceless for people interested in developing games for retro game consoles. And it is worth mentioning that the NES and Famicom Everdrives load up Famicom Disk games without the need for a physical Famicom Disk System. It is also worth mentioning that with exception of pirate cartridges, and unlicensed multi-carts these Everdrives have a compatibility rate in the high 90th percentile in terms of games that work properly. Now this won’t change the fact that if you have an American system you can’t get the extra audio channels present in the Famicom, but it will change the fact that you need converters to play other region games on a console of a different region. You can load up Japanese Famicom and Famicom Disk games on a USA console and vice versa. The Everdrive is truly an amazing product!

I think that about wraps things up for now. Hopefully I didn’t forget anything. I am always available to take questions. And if I don’t know the answer then I can surely find out for you if there is an answer. So until next time.

Game on, and may the Schwartz be with you all!

#NES @PlayLegit

DunkhuntDog