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Posts posted by CatPix

  1. I need to replay it. I got stuck in the very first ice labyrinth, couldn't get to find the exit even with a soluce. I ran and ran and ran in the level for about 10 minutes, gave up, put it back on the shelf, never touched it since. I do'nt mind difficulty in a video game but heck a good first level must guide you so you understand what you're supposed to do.

    I'm not a fan of the survival-horror genre where you have force chase sessions (exception might be SH Downpour, but those parts are short and rather easy and progressively getting harder, giving you ample time to understand them) either, so that didn't help me getting into it.

    • Confused 1

  2. The PC-Engine sales in France were from a private importer, Sodipeng (an emanation of either UbiSoft or Guillemot (same family 😛 )) and had little relationship with NEC-Hudson other than them aknowledging they existed. But NEC-Hudson couldn't give any order to Sodipeng, and they were going "You're on your own, we will not provide any guarantee or support on you in any way shape or form".



  3. I find the Wii to be okay... as long as games didn't relied to use motion detection to death (And yes, Skyward Sword counts... Damn that last boss fight.. I had to CHANGE HAND to keep playing and beat it.. and I just ended up wiggling the Wiimote like a dumbass). It had a nice share of decent games and many accepted either regular controls or GameCube controllers so props to that. It's still a console I have an abysmal lack of games for it, probably the lower number of games for it of all the mainstream consoles I own. But the few I picked up were good. It has surprisingly good survival horror games, save for the Silent Hill one.

  4. You got the general picture right, tho, the SNES did okay here. But again it's a "country by country" basis, but general figures for the Megadrive and SNES in Europe are about 7 millions (MD) to 8,5 millions (SNES) so it was far from "poorly"  globally. But some countries got it more than other. If I recall right, the Megadrive had a strong headstart in France but ultimately sales figures were 1/3 Megadrive and 2/3 SNES, so there are probably countries in Europe with the opposite figures.

    Though it's likely that SNES sales picked up late; Sega cut all Megadrive supplies here in 1996 while Nintendo kept selling SNES games as late as 1998 (pretty sure to have seen a few sold under cheap blisters in 1999 or early 2000 but those may have been destocker sales).


  5. It's... difficult to sum up, probably because each country has their own story.

    For example in the UK the NES went under the radar, selling shy of a million consoles.



    In France, while it didn't sold wonders, Nintendo announced in 1992 having sold 3.5 millions NES.

    One console that worker wonder, even surprising Nintendo themselves, was the Game Boy, that sold like hot cakes in France. Not sure about other countries.


    The computer era in Europe pretty much died around 1990. 8-bits computers were affordable, but 16 bits weren't; and by the time they were cheaper, well it was 1990 and they were going outdated (for the ST, with too little too late efforts put in) or were going even more expensive than before (Amiga).

    So there was a SNES vs Megadrive fight. Though it was probably less heated than in the US, as  the Megadrive arrived later, and Nintendo rushed the SNES to Europe (as so much as (thankfully :D ) using the Japanese shells for the PAL market -they didn't had enough capacity to produce US shells for the US and Europe). And since the Master System was a thing here, there was no Nintendon't ad (the fact that it only works in English doesn't help either :D )


    Basically it was a rather short fight between 1991 and 1995 when the Playstation came and steamrolled over everyone. Sega didn't alienated any seller in Europe like in the US, but as you pointed out, Sega basically booted themselves out of competition by keeping expected games in Japan. European gaming magazines were featuring Japanese games which filled people with hope... and disapointment later.

  6. 40 minutes ago, Steven Pendleton said:

    Lol yeah the original PS1 is just a big grey box.


    The Skeleton Saturn is cool. In fact, it's so cool that it tells you that it's cool!




    Looks better in person, though.

    Gotta say it does. I'm not a huge fan of skeleton cases usually because most consoles are just huge hunks of metal, but the Saturn isn't. And it's not hollow either, there is stuff everywhere. So that's a good point to it, and yeah, the "This is cool" Tetris-like shaped text is the kind of cheesy design thing my brains goes "Awwww that is cute, they tried".

    Also, that's the second version with the round button. Much better :D

  7. 1 hour ago, IntelliMission said:

    I think we should include PC separated by eras: 8 bits, 16 bits, 32 bits and so on. Windows or MS-DOS is cheating, they include too many hardware updates to count as a single system.

    Indeed. XT, AT and ATX would be "good enough" bounds too. We have to refine more because really 32 bits goes from 1985 (the 386) to 2000 (Pentium 4; though really 64 bits CPU were more a thing around 2005 form what I recall)


    XT being basically 8086 based, original IBM PC tech. AT spawns the whole 286 to 486/early Pentium era (though for the sake of separating things we could say up to 486). Then after that we delve into Pentium I and II era, then Windows 95/98 then 2000 and XP.



  8. I think there was a thread about computers on the computer side of things. So...


    The Micral 80-22


    Who doesn't want a Star Trek computer at home? now you can!


    The Nordmende Teleplay



    European licenced Channel F with a mad twist on the US Woodgrain style :D






    This Soviet computer designed around 1985 was nothing but an Apple II clone. Despite this fact, the Soviet Union worked to sell it internationally through ELORG (the State company that also sold Tetris to the world). The projected price of 25 000$ was seen as a deal breaker, even with the few improvements made.

    The red (HAH) version here was the first model and it's basically unseen outside of BITD pictures; the more common models are gray or black which isn't as cool as this :D



    (The logo is less Trekkie too)


    The Radofin 1292 Advanced Programmable Video System :



    First European-made console. Like the Nordmende, you can see that BITD for "advanced" electronics, Woodgrain was banned :D, and white 70's plastic was more the thing.


    Small is cute, they say :


    I agree. The 2600 with the metal band and rainbow stripe all along is very cute and pretty! And no cheesy woodgrain ;)


    Some may see it as clunky. I agree. But my nerdy side says that it can be good-looking too :



    A suitcase of 8 bits fun!


    For further consoles... weeell I think that it's gonna be a tie with the usual suspects so... Might stop here for now.

    • Like 1

  9. I can see why, but on the other hand, that system is so painfully 80's it's rad :D



    For me the biggest sin in design, regardless of era, is going for the safe "bland" design.


    This thing for example is a mess of design, mismatched shapes and colors... but on the other hand, they tried hard to be cool. And failed. But they failed hard.

    The Pipp!n and Saturn (some models) fail into this category for they have simply no special taste or effort put in it. They are competent designs, not bad (well in fact the Saturn is bad)... but the blandless of the 90's is not the blandness of the 2020 and so their design appears dated, without anything the eye can catch and appreciate.


    If we compare with similar blocky consoles, the 3DO FZ1 have those touches of gold on the buttons, the flashy red and green notches, and those Greek pillars at each angle. Oh and that faux marble effect on the top.


    It sure falls now into the "kitsch" look of things, but at least they tried.


    The Playstation is often named as the worst and ugliest design (and I like the irony that the same people say that the Saturn looks better... Really?)

    I can understand why, tho, efforts were made to make a competent and clever, if not pretty, design.


    The design is simple but also (to me) neat,, if not pretty. The console is quasi symetrical on both sides but also, from this top down view, back and front. The CD tray is "invisible" as it's that big round shape; and the hinges are hidden too in that big large part that goes to the back, and that design is mirrored on the front of the system. If you look at the buttons, even without indications on them you could tell what they are for! the Open button has a notch going from it to the CD tray, where the power switch has a small notch leading to the power LED.

    Simple but elegant.

    Also the vents are noteworthy; those triangular shapes are highly unusual and certain cost-intensive. But they have the merit of venting the system while hiding the vents from the eye and also still bring air if you were to block the sides of the console. It's both functionnal and design. It may not be pretty but clever.


    And now, the ugly :



    At first glance you wanna say "well it's more or less like the PS. A featureless box." But it's worse.


    I don't even know where to start with. But let's start with the assembly. Both PS1 and Saturn have rather large, by modern standards, "assembly gaps" that is, the part between the upper and lower shell. But Sony took care to hide it and put it at the bottom of the console. On the Saturn, you can see is going up and down around all the system, giving it a clumsy and unfinished look. Some parts of the bottom case are recessed, like pseudo-pillars, but not the upper parts. The only design efforts are that cut in the top part that looks like a giant lid... and which to me only make the console looks bigger than it already is. The other one is the cleverly-blended window to see the CD spinning You may not even see it on that picture if you don't know where to look. Else it's a mess. Look on the side; there are weird ridges on the bottom part, not on the top. There are very utilitarian vents. Fair enough, but thy are on the side.

    The front of the console is featureless. Why not doing like Nintendo and put your brand or logo here? Especially since you slapped your Sega brand on the corner of the console, all cramped and not pretty.

    The buttons are slanted... Why not, but there is no reson for it. And the button to open the CD lid isn't slanted! Have consistency! The left button is named "Power" which is fine, but the other is "Access" No! Access have been used to say that the console was accessing the CD. Not for the user to access the CD. And it's next to the RESET button! What a terrible mistake. I assume the labels are here for the LED indication, but then, don't put those near buttons that have other functions!

    That console is a mess, design-wise (and I don't mean the electronic parts). It's really an insult to the people who bough it. It's barely better than a prototype!

    • Haha 1

  10. As soon as I saw this title I knew what to expect and yeaaaahh.. some 16 years old scrolling through the "second gen" page of wikipedia and sprinkling it with the Pipp!n for pretending he didn't like the 70's look.

    Where is the Saturn? the monstruous Xbox original? The PSOne? The Xbox 360 redesign that looks like a Chinese fake? Tastes and colors are subjective alright, but that post is really just a filler. No analysis, no trend, no effort just "This is ugly. This is ugly too, and this looks out of Star Trek (as if it was a bad point?)"

    • Haha 2

  11. 7 hours ago, carlsson said:

    While it is awfully hard to search for, somewhere there ought to be some charts for how prices on PC compatibles in particular, and other brands in general, dropped in price.


    Some quick samples in the sea of price examples:


    February 1986: IBM XT clone with 256K, dual 5.25" drives and monochrome monitor $965 which was considered a bargain. Around $1200 you could get a 8 MHz PC w/ 640K and RGB display (compared to e.g. an Atari 520ST which was $699 with monochrome monitor).


    July 1988: 12 MHz 286 with 512K for $949 (no monitor) or $1384 with an EGA monitor. 16 MHz 386 for $1749 (no monitor) or $2185 with an EGA monitor.


    July 1990: 25 MHz 386 with 2 MB and VGA monitor (but no hard drive) for $2890.


    July 1991: 20 MHz 386SX with 2 MB RAM, 40 MB HDD, VGA monitor for $1990.


    July 1992: 20 MHz 386SX with 2 MB RAM, 40 MB HDD, VGA monitor, CD-ROM, SoundBlaster Pro, joystick, speakers, for $1990.

    33 MHz 386SX with 2 MB RAM, 40 MB HDD, VGA monitor but no other multimedia for $1390.


    Apparently a breakthrough happened some time around 1991-92, though even $1400 would be plenty for most kids who wanted a gaming computer.

    It's important to recall that older gen computer were still sold alongside newer ones; it's one reason why CGA games were still programmed in 1991, as people would have acquired a brand new XT computer for a bargain price (especially laptops, though those would have been for professionnal use).


    For example in 1987 you could acquire an Amstrad PC-1512, 8086 based, 512Ko of RAM (hence the name) 1FD and monochrome display for $799 (It was sold in the US) or, with a 10 Mo hard drive and a color monitor, $1499.

    I can't find a definitive discontinuation date, but the PC 1512 and his evolution the PC-1640 appear to have been sold up to 1990, probably for cheaper.

  12. If you don't want to buy the book, you also have the ressource to look for gameplay videos on Youtube. Sometime transcription form Japanese to English isn't perfect, especially from Japanese sellers (that probably use a different transcription method than Hepburn and/or mix up sounds and letter. It's not rare for even big Japanese sellers to write "Tetlis" for the famous game... even if the name is in plain latin on the box) so you can also use the disk reference :


    Don't recognize that game? :D

    All FDS games have a unique identifiant that is easily seen. Here it's FMC-ZEL.

    A search on Internet will bring out websites that will list the stantard Latin transliteration and/or the American/European title if the game was released outside of Japan.

    With those infos it's then easy to look for a gameplay video and decide if it's playable or not.

    For example you can easily play Castlevania II on FDS is you accept to have some guide around for obvisouly the clues will be in Japanese, but most of the game is easily doeable without any knowledge of Japanese. Same for Zelda II, you can easily check on a walkthrough... Or you already know the game in International version.

    • Like 1

  13. I don't really se the logic in saying that generation winners are overrrated.


    Though I think it would be important first to define "overrated".


    To me, as I explained with the Neo Geo, overrated mean that the system mentionned about it held in high regard to an exxagerated point. Not that it was more successful despite X or Y, nor that the games weren't as good as the lesser-selling, or anything.

    Just that today when you say "console X is not so good" you have a swarm of angry fanboys tellign you wrong. That's overrating.


    The PS1 isn't overrated because it sold well. In fact it's currently underrated as it had been for the past 10 years with people rambling about how it killed "real/2D gaming" that it had horrible 3D, blah blah blah. Saying that the PS1 had innovative games, an extensive library of good titles and mastered the transition to 3D gaming isn't overrating it.

    Now saying that the PS1 was better than the N64 and Saturn on every point, that games not on PS1 were inferior, that the design of the console and pad were perfect. Now, THIS is ovverrating it.


    But that's my own definition; the problem is that unless we agree on a commno one we are probably not talking about the same thing.

    • Like 3

  14. oh fair enough, I didn't see the LT. Though that gotta be the surpidest thing ever do do : for 30$ on eBay you can get a white PC-Engine.

    And second,t here are external mods that have been around since the 90's to get RGB out of any PC-Engine so you do'nt need to mod it.

    And I would like to see the rare case where you can fry your console by plugging an ACTIVE output on a PASSIVE input.

    Yeah maybe my Italian mTV made in 1983 would do that because the engineers were lazy and wired a channel switch to 12V to force the TV into A/V mod if your system didn't do that. But guess what? I discovered it by wondering why my Gamecube and PS1 picture got all wobbly an weird when I put the TV on A/V. And I found out that my Atari 2600 Jr could be powered by the TV. And alos guess what? None of those system died despite taking 12V into their 5V circuitry.

  15. I found it okayish... for kids. There is little depth in this movie for adults, which is strange since the movie des several nods to the original Sonic games - I assume they put them inside so that parents that wanted to see it had a good time recognizing the nods to the old games while kids have cheap laught with fart jokes and Sonic fighting bikers in a bar.


    For good films from video games, Silent Hill did okay, in a whole different genre.

  16. RGB is more common on most consoles than component, first, and second, the risk is ALWAYS on the input side (Framemeister or television) never on the output side.

    So first, if you  spent 1000$ on a PC -Engine, especially if you're in Japan, then you're a fool, second, you can plug it all day and night on JP 21 devices and it will never blow since it's the PC-Engine that will send 9V/ 5V into the display device, never the opposite.

    And I borked a few cable wiring and sent 12V straight into my SCART TV and it never affected them in any way shape or form.

    I can't tell about FrameMeister/OSCC but TVs are protected.


    Also  thanks for confirming that JP21 is non-existant in Japan.

  17. It never was... It was a console of it's own, and here it always was considered as competing with the NES, not as some watered down Megadrive. For this it should have been available at the same time than the Megadrive, which it wasn't; if I recall right, the Megadrive was released in most of Europe in early or late 1990 by this poitn the Master System had been available for 4 years; and likewise there was no Nintendon't adverts and people considered that the Megadrive was the next gen.

    The reason for ports of the same game on both system is due to the success of the Master System and also, because playing SMS games on the Game Gear was common. since the Game Gear was avaiable during the Megadrive time all along it was really just a matter of puttign the game in a GG or Master System shell and both would sold.

  18. Most puzzles games should be relaxing, especially if they aren't timer based.

    Sokoban is a relaxing game to me, just relax and sort the crates. Some people might find it boring, or some mgiht find it frustrating for later levels are hard, but if you like it... then it's a good relaxing time.


    Nostalgia-fueled for me but that 1984 DOS version is awesome. Lots of animations and details for a seemingly simple game on a (back then) limited plaftform.


    Taipei, more commonly know as MahJong Solitaire.


    If you like more challenge and interactivity, OpenTTD is a modern/retro (it's an Open source recreation of an retro game, still updated as of today )



    In other sims, someone named the Sims, then why not Sim City?


    I'd recommand either Sim City 2000 or Sim City 4. The first Sim City is a wee bit limited, though interesting to explore and try. And Sim City 3000 is not as open as Sim City 4, which still get TONS of mods to keep it alive and fun. Also Sim City's add-on Rush out allow you to micro mange road circulation which can be a relaxing PITA task :D




    One last game, that isn't retro but desn't require a massive computer to run, and that you might like for it's absolutely micro-management based and therefore, can be very immersing and relaxing is that mouthful of a title of "Workers & Ressources : Soviet Republic"


    (there isn't politics involved in this game, it's pretty much a SimCity+Transport Tycoon Deluxe game mashed together with a twist on how to earn money and ressources)


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