[quote name='DrLove0378' date='Tue Jul 4, 2006 12:24 AM' post='1095296']-- The "Bull's Eye" AND "Target Shoot" games are ripped directly from Hyper Sports
Agreed, but did you notice that they managed to ruin Target Shoot (called "Target Shop" on my unit)? It's like the game randomly makes you miss the targets, so you're never able to do well in the game. It's a damn shame because Target Shoot is incredibly fun in the original version.
[quote]-- The fish-catching AND egg-catching games are ripped directly from Panic Restaurant
I noticed that the two games had similar aesthetics, so Iassumed they were written to be a pair, but I didn't know they were stolen from Taito. Cool weird games, though.
[quote]-- A "losers bracket" screen in one of the games is from Palamedes
-- The "extra life" sound effect from Super C
(Konami) was used in several of the games
-- The game "Quick Shot" had the in-game font from Willow
(Capcom CPS-1 arcade game) [/quote]
Yeah, lots and lots of graphic and audio bits are ripped from other games. Worm Catcher--which is the same game I've played on many a pirate Famicom cart as Bird Week--has background graphics taken from Super Mario Bros and Contra.
[quote]-- "Space Shooter" is a VERY stripped-down variant of Quarth
Aw man, mine doesn't have Space Shooter. I love Quarth, I'd probably even love a VERY stripped-down version of it. You must have the 50 game version, eh? Mine's a 75. I also heard that the 30 game version has games not on either of the other two. That's the worst thing about these damn JungleTac systems...there's never a clearly superior version of any of their different types of hardware since they all have different games.
[quote]-- "Matching Diamonds" = Puzznic
-- "Paint" = Make Trax
-- "Pool Pro" = Side Pocket
-- "Sky Mission" = Astro Robo Sasa
-- "Smart Monkey" = Pooyan
While these are all indeed clones of the games you mentioned, they seem to be original clones, even of the games that were on the NES originally anyway. Except for Paint which has been around for a while as a Hong Kong original, same with Jewels, which is a Columns clone that someone in Hong Kong wrote many years ago.
One other non-original game on my system is Smash Ball, which is Penguin-kun Wars with the penguin sprite replaced with some other bird (a tern or a seagull or something).
[/quote]I actually went so far as to take the unit apart and look inside, and I found out that it contains a processor similar to the NES-on-a-chip. Like a hand-held Famiclone, there is a chip (presumably containing the games,) covered by a VERY TOUGH blob of epoxy. It would be very hard, if not impossible, to convert this to anything meaningful, as there are no "Start" and "Select" buttons -- just two action buttons and two turbo buttons.[/quote]
Almost certainly an Famicom-on-a-chip. Though there's some chance that it's a Winbond architecture as Curt was speculating since I think there's a Winbond architecture that's 6502-based and very much like the Famicom-on-a-chip, so it might be using that architecture with Famicom games hacked to work on it. It's hard to say. If you turn the system on while holding down the two action buttons, you get a controller test screen where the controllers pictured look like Famicom controllers (including Start and Select buttons). That may not mean anything much, though. I lean towards the Famicom-on-a-chip since I assume the Winbond architecture would have to be licensed, while the Famicom-on-a-chip seems to be legal and free these days.
My unit has an actual flash chip holding the games, not just a glop-top. It's part number m5m29kb641avp-70, which is a 64Kbit NOR flash chip. It'd be nice to try to get a replacement flashed with some NES games (mapper 0 only, I assume) and try putting it in there. You'd have to have a menu of some sort, but certainly that could be whipped up if one doesn't already exist. I have nowhere near the soldering skill to handle all those tiny contacts, though, unfortunately. It'd be pretty great, though, especially since the system has the TV out option, too. The missing Start and Select buttons could be worked around, many games don't even need them or it might be possible to find a line on the PCB and maybe reqire the reset button as Start. Select always seemed totally useless to me anyway.
I'll have to download the datasheet for that chip and see if there's maybe some way that it can be re-written on the board or somehting.
[quote]The only thing in this unit that has any sort of value, is the 2" LCD panel (which, itself, is worth nowhere near $30)... but the rest is a joke. I ended up boxing mine back up and returning it to Gamestop -- they couldn't give me the refund in cash, but I applied it to my Kingdom Hearts II reservation. So I came out even after all. So basically, what I'm saying is, don't waste your time on the VG Pockets.[/quote]
Personally, I'm quite happy with mine. I got it for $20 and I think it's easily worth that. The dpad was cranky at first as other's have reoprted but I made some adjustments to it when I took the system apart and now it's fine. That was my only hardware complaint. As for the software, yeah it's a lot of shit, but depending on my mood I can enjoy about half of the games on the unit and that's pretty good, I'd say, for $20.
Here's some of the game I like that haven't been mentioned:
Sea Voyage - a clone of Cave/Copter, which is a brilliant game concept and while this is by no means the best interpretation of it that I've played, it's fun.
Leap - incredibly simple, just jump down from platform to platform as the screen scrolls up, but it's quite addictive (it's partner game, Jump, where you have to jump up from platform to platform is considerably less fun because of the odd mechanics and the fact that if you fall to the bottom of the screen you die instead of having the screen scroll until you land somewhere below).
Drop & Stock - an original puzzle game concept where you have to pick up boxes as they're dropped by cranes and line them up along the floor to make them disappear Tetris-style. I can think if a number of ways it could have easily been improved, but it's fun enough as it is.
Fire Fight - Like Megumi Rescue on the Master System, you control a trampoline at the bottom of the screen and bounce a firefighter up to a burning building to put out the flames and rescue trapped tenants. This game is really great, whoever wrote it obviously put much more work into it than was put into most of the other games on the system. There's lots of great little details.
Fun Moves - simplified version of ZooKeeper or Bejeweled. Again, not nearly the best version of the game I've played, but it holds my attention for a good while.
Ricochet - Pretty good Breakout...or pretty bad Arkanoid, depending on how you look at it. Fun, though.
The, I like some of the shooters, too, like Starcraft Attack, Air War (essentially a 1942 clone) and Quick Shot (a Space Invaders clone, though not as good as the Space Invaders clone I have on another JungleTac system and actually that other one is the one that's shown on the back of the VG Pocket Max package...another game called Doggy is also shown on the package, but isn't on my system, it looks to be a Frogger clone).
What's really frustrating about a lot of the games that aren't good, though, like Marble Max (Puzzloop clone), Puzzle Box (Sokoban clone), the aforementioned Jump or some of the racing games is that they have incredibly simple problems, that could easily have been fixed with just a little bit of playtesting and re-working if JungleTac or whoever wrote the games gave a damn.
As it is, though, I'm happy enough with the system. I'd still really love it if some way could be worked out to play NES games on it. Someone who knows how to do things like that needs to be contacted--and sent a free system if needs be.
...word is bondage...
Edited by Sweater Fish Deluxe, Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:26 PM.