Vintage gaming options

Discussions about non-Evangelion related video games, board games, card games and gaming in general.

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Postby IronEvangelion » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:20 am

So I've decided to get a Japanese PS2 (most likely slim model) at some point during this or next year. I've considered other options such as emulation and swap-magic, but my laptop struggles with gen 6 games (also I can't find roms for some of the games I'm looking for), and swap-magic would require me to manually pull out the disc tray on my US-region fat PS2. I don't want to screw up that disc drive any more than it already is.

I searched on Amazon and found that I can get a Japanese slim PS2 for roughly $120 (shipping included) and a voltage transformer for $30-$40. The games I've decided to buy for it so far are mostly anime-based games that never got released outside Japan:

Top wo Nerae: Gunbuster
Nadia: Inherit the Blue Water
One of the Twelve Kingdoms games (can't remember the exact title.)
Final Fantasy XII IZJS (only if S-E doesn't announce a remaster.)
The 3 or so Evangelion games that were made for PS2.

There are most likely others that I've forgotten at the moment as well. Does anyone know of any Japan-exclusive PS2 games to recommend? Before anyone says FFX International, FFX-2 International, KH Final Mix, or KH2 Final Mix, I should say that I already have the HD remasters so there's really no point.
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Postby Shoujo Kakumei Asuka » Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:01 am

A Japanese only game that I got based on other recommendations is Chaindive. It's an awesome platforming/beat em up game where you use your ELECTRIC GRAPPLE HOOK to grab aloft enemies and platforms. You also can rewards for "chaining" defeating enemies as well. It's quite addicting.

There's also Arcana Heart 2 if you like sugary sweet moe fighting games. It was okay. Even though it's decent, I don't know how I ended up playing it.

I haven't played that may Japan exclusive PS2 games, so that's all I have.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:06 am

NGE2 (Evangelions 2), though the PSP Another Cases port had very nice updates. I played the crap out of it before getting the PSP version.

I also think the PS2 Ayanami with Asuka Raising Project is adorable, though that's on various ports--Most recently DS, I think. (Originally it's just raising teh Rei).

IIRC both games have heavily discounted "The Best" versions--You can find it on Play Asia most likely :)
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Postby jcmoorehead » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:19 am

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:NGE2 (Evangelions 2), though the PSP Another Cases port had very nice updates. I played the crap out of it before getting the PSP version.

I also think the PS2 Ayanami with Asuka Raising Project is adorable, though that's on various ports--Most recently DS, I think. (Originally it's just raising teh Rei).

IIRC both games have heavily discounted "The Best" versions--You can find it on Play Asia most likely :)


Are there any guides for those? I've always wanted to play NGE2 but it being in Japanese put me off. It's a shame Eva games never really made it to the west :/

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:49 am

Created by a forum member, in fact: http://www.gamefaqs.com/psp/930008-neon-genesis-evangelion-tsukurareshi-sekai-another/faqs

His advice, and my own translations as well as Reichu's translations/videos (used to be translated, but no Youtube captions anymore??) in this thread: http://forum.evageeks.org/thread/1393/GAME-Neon-Genesis-Evangelion-2-Another-Cases/

It's my personal favorite Eva game, so I can't help but gush about it. :marihearts:

Also, walkthrough for the Ayanami/Asuka game: http://www.gamefaqs.com/ps2/917346-shinseiki-evangelion-ayanami-ikusei-keikaku-with/faqs
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Postby IronEvangelion » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:56 pm

Thanks for all the info! I recently found out that there's a PS2 Cowboy Bebop game in Japan as well, so I'll have to look into that too.
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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:15 pm

In the last two days I discovered that many of the good fighting games of the 1990s are available on the Saturn + ports of various older games. So now I'm looking at getting some of those, too (this is gonna become expensive on the long run... :rolleyes: ).

Also picked up a nice little RPG lot including the Magic Knight Rayearth game...

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Postby Falcon_of_the_Sun » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:21 am

View Original PostShamsiel-kun wrote:In the last two days I discovered that many of the good fighting games of the 1990s are available on the Saturn + ports of various older games. So now I'm looking at getting some of those, too (this is gonna become expensive on the long run... :rolleyes: ).

Also picked up a nice little RPG lot including the Magic Knight Rayearth game...


The Saturn was THE 2D console of the 90s. PlayStation was surely ahead when it came to 3D graphics (or rather, Saturn's twin processors were difficult to exploit at their fullest for anyone other than internal SEGA developers), the Saturn had a larger VRAM if I'm not mistaken, much needed for 2D graphics.
Then you should add the fact that many Capcom games (starting from the VS series) came out with a 4MB RAM expansion cartridge and SNK games also had their own (either RAM or ROM cartridges).

[url]http://www.satakore.com/cartridge.php[/url]

For 3D fighters, Virtua Fighter 2 and Last Bronx are the best you can get. fighters Megamix does have a shitload of characters and the VF3 control system and move list, but its graphics are pretty ugly...

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:57 am

So today I received the first bits of Saturn:

- RF adapter, all minty and new in box, so I can at least test Saturns on my HD TV. Edit: Dammit, Japanese and European RF converters use different connectors! My TV has this connector, while the NTSC RF unit comes with this one (I think...). So assuming the signal is compatible (according to my TV's manual it should be able to accept NTSC over the aerial connector...) I need a conversion cable. :| No, wait, scratch that, there's conversion plugs available for 2-3 Euros. ^_^
- 23 game lot that I mentioned earlier and that also included all 10+ Tokimeki Memorial Soundtrack CDs (audio CDs all minty) and official game guide (clearly sold by a Tokimeki fan...which meant no one else bid). 2 game discs are clearly scratched, willl need to check if they work. 12 are slightly scuffed, and 9 are like brand new (1 actually was still sealed). Some games have all paperwork, and I also got one of the Sakura Taisen boxes with the Saturn mouse and mouse mat. Not bad for 800 yen :D

Some of the CD boxes sent me down memory lane -o-; , because they were non-standard CD cases that I hadn't seen for an eternity (there's one single case that's slightly taller and fatter than a normal CD case...probably just enough to make it not fit in a modern storage system :um: )

Also got some unrelated goodies (artbooks etc.).

The only bad thing was that the whole lot weighed around 8-9 kg, so shipping was about 100 bucks.

And the Saturn is on its way now too. Which means I have to look out for a decent step-down transformer. Anyone know whether I explicitly need one that changes the 220-230 V into 100 V, or will one that changes it to 110 V also do? Apparently it doesn't matter...

Edit, July 14: Saturn is in. Power cable is included, despite not shown in auction. Biggest surprise was that the Saturn is a early model, made in Japan, HST-3200, which apparently have some differences in the hardware department :woohoo: It looks quite good on first sight. The controllers are a bit worn though, and the AV cable will need a cleaning session before connection (dirty connectors). Got another bunch of games, including a PS1 game that looks physically hosed (the CD is black on the data side...). Some discs are rather scratched (including two rare demo-discs), others in good condition.

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:26 am

So approx. 9 months :uhh: after I first got the Saturn I finally got it up and running, with image on my TV. I used one of the composite-to-SCART convertors that were included with the Sony PlayStation lot I picked up two days ago, and unlike the composite input of my TV that apparently doesn't like much at all this set up works, although the image is a bit fuzzy.

I've been trying various games I've picked up over the last few months, especially the racing games and some shoot-em-ups. Thoughts:
  • WipeOut = Awesome. Although I have some trouble getting used to the shoulder buttons on the pad, likely because I never used a console with such pads before.
  • Race Drivin' (by Time Warner) has to be the worst game on the Saturn ever. Badly authored CD with loads of loading and weird noises from the drive, a faulty disc that causes the Saturn to hang when I select one of the three courses, cars that move like bricks and crash in the worst ways possible (e.g. falling through the pavement because apparently two objects are not properly joined), etc. Thankfully I got it in a lot with other racing games and didn't buy it individually.
  • Destruction Derby was a disappointment, not because it isn't fun, but because the cars behave like bricks on a ice rink. It's nice to have a damage model, but with no physics engine driving the cars is a pain in the arse.
  • Talking about horrible car physics, I'm not enamoured with Sega Rally. Bizarrely I like Sega Touring Car Championship more, although that one looks like it has a bug in the car handling: during qualifying the car handles fine but drives very fast, when racing the handling suddenly sucks and the cars drive slower, but only when using the outside view. :huh:
  • GT24 also lacks a physics model, but since the cars don't get stuck on walls it is less annoying. Arcade-hard though.
  • Gale Racer is simple, but easier than I expected. Although the way the short draw distance is used to pop up other cars right in front of you leaving you with only a split second to react seems a bit cheap. Arcade port of course.
  • I've also tried various drifting games, and most seem to need some tweaking to the cars prior to racing (except that everything is in Japanese...). Shoutoku Battle '97 is very good though.
  • VR Racing is as good as I remember it from 1992 (well, better, because the Saturn version is enhanced...).
  • Daytona USA...is good. Hard, but good. Don't like how the rear wheels stick out of the car body though (no Nascar stock car looks like that...)
  • I got myself trounced when playing Thunder Force V...on Kids mode. :cringe:
  • I got my ass handed to me in the first level of the second Parodius game. See a pattern?
  • Sonic Wings Special went a bit better. For a title that's not a big name it plays like a dream, also for people who haven't touched a console Shmup since 15 years... ^_^

Will try some more games later.

I think my SCART cable has arrived at the post office, so will need to retrieve that too (which will hopefully remove the fuzziness of the image).

Oh, and I'd like to state that I think the Saturn is superior to the PlayStation, also with regards to game selection.
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Postby jcmoorehead » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:44 am

Sounds like you had a lot of fun with it all!

I wish I had a bigger flat so I could grab all of my retro consoles from my parents and bring them up to Edinburgh with me. It's my dream to have a set up for my N64/SNES/Mega Drive/Dreamcast but I just don't have the space for it all yet :(

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Sun May 01, 2016 12:29 pm

View Original Postjcmoorehead wrote:Sounds like you had a lot of fun with it all!


Yeah, basically when I was a kid all I had was a Sega Master System II + about 10 games (wanted Game Gear, parents thought "This bigger system has more games and is cheaper" and missed the fact that in 1994 the Master System II was already quite old - on the other hand, I later got Submarine Attack, which was quite fun) and all I could do was drool over the nice pictures in gaming magazines. So this is kinda compensation for that.

Some more fun:
  • Hooked up the Saturn with the RGB-SCART cable, instant better image. ^_^
  • Tried Puyo Puyo Sun, managed to finish the easy tutorial mode, got my ass handed to me in the first level of normal mode.
  • Tried Puyo Puyo Tsuu, got my ass handed to me.
  • Sakura Taisen Columns is also awesome, 1-Player mode was quite fun, and it also has a story mode like in the actual Dating Strategy games, except that I don't get the impression it matters what answers Ogami gives to the girls (unlike the main games). That went quite well, until I fought Iris (the resident 12 yo loli) and my Champion Sakura got beaten five times in a row. ^_^
  • Tried Tetris S, normal mode is kinda boring.
  • Tried the two Tokimemo puzzle games, one of which appears to mostly serve to showcase the ladies in their swimsuit ^_^ These are also quite fun.
  • Played Gals Panic SS, which is a PG-13 game (the worst you will see is some cleavage and slightly dodgy positions) in an otherwise hentai game series, where you have to reveal five pictures of a pretty girl while fending off attacks by weird rotating enemies, for 10 different girls (and two secret characters). This is much harder than it seems, and I initially needed about four hours and tons of continues to finish the game. However, to get the secret characters you need to finish it without continues, so that was another four hours... (What's funny is that this game has much better art than the hentai games in the same series).
  • Played some more WipeOut, can now finish the first Championship mode up to about halfway (that Russian circuit is a pain in the behind though...).
  • Tried Sexy Parodius, discovered it had difficulty options, set difficulty to "Easiest" (standard is "Medium"), set the number of lives to "6" and still needed tons of continues to reach the last level (where I, predictably ^_^ , got my ass handed to me).
  • Tried to get a memory cart working, was able to confirm the finicky nature of the Saturn's cartridge slot, found I had one cart that worked straight away, one that needed its contacts cleaned (after which I saw it had tons of old saves on it), and one that either doesn't work at all or causes the Saturn to hang at start-up :huh: .
  • Tried Thunder Force Gold Pack 1, got my ass handed to me in Thunder Force II MD, and only managed to reach the end of the first level in Thunder Force III after 9 continues (also can't figure out how to access the hidden menu, will need to look that up). Maybe I should try that Macross game that has the reputation to be very easy...
  • Discovered that some games do save to the backup memory, but have no explicit save option.

I still have four Eva games (and some other stuff) that I will try later on.

I wish I had a bigger flat so I could grab all of my retro consoles from my parents and bring them up to Edinburgh with me. It's my dream to have a set up for my N64/SNES/Mega Drive/Dreamcast but I just don't have the space for it all yet :(


I feel your pain, I only have a 60 square meter flat and my TV set-up is getting kinda crowded with two retro consoles added to it (those damn cables...). Have too many books, computer stuff, manga and anime stuff, and scale modeling junk.
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Postby IronEvangelion » Sun May 01, 2016 9:32 pm

View Original Postjcmoorehead wrote:I wish I had a bigger flat so I could grab all of my retro consoles from my parents and bring them up to Edinburgh with me. It's my dream to have a set up for my N64/SNES/Mega Drive/Dreamcast but I just don't have the space for it all yet :(

I'd love to be able to hook up all of my retro consoles, but I don't have the space either. I only have my gen 6 and later consoles hooked up right now, but I have a console collection going all the way back to the Atari 2600. Pretty much every Nintendo console from the NES to the Wii except for the Virtua Boy, every main Sega Console except for the Master System and Nomad, every Sony console except the utra-rare Playstation X (PS2/DVR hybrid that was only released in Japan), Microsoft's XBox and X360, and of course the Atari 2600 itself. They were all still in working order last time I tried them except for the Sega Saturn, which after moving seems to have become unable to read discs. Those things are delicate. I'd like to pick up some of the more niche consoles like Intellivision, Colecovision, and NeoGeo, but once again I just don't have the space. When I buy a Wii U or NX I'm already going to have to unplug something, most likely the Wii will get the axe.

Here's an example of the Japan-only Playstation X in case nobody's heard of it before:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E3%82%BD%E3%83 ... ywords=psx

It's PS2 hardware married to a DVR and was the only PS2 variant with an internal hard drive built in. There were several different models with different capacity hard drives, and the best ones had 250GB hard drives. That was massive back in 2004. The console never made it overseas because it sold poorly due to its price, with the best models like this one retailing for around $1,000 US. The Playstation X is also noteworthy for being the first Sony console to use the Cross Menu Bar user interface, which was also used later on the PS3 and PSP. This is my personal holy grail as a console collector, I cannot even describe how much I would love to own one of these.
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"Oh no, Haruka! My butt's already split! I think my whole team's butts are split!" -Minori (Senran Kagura: Estival Versus)

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Postby jcmoorehead » Mon May 02, 2016 2:33 am

View Original PostShamsiel-kun wrote:Yeah, basically when I was a kid all I had was a Sega Master System II + about 10 games (wanted Game Gear, parents thought "This bigger system has more games and is cheaper" and missed the fact that in 1994 the Master System II was already quite old - on the other hand, I later got Submarine Attack, which was quite fun) and all I could do was drool over the nice pictures in gaming magazines. So this is kinda compensation for that.


Ah see I had an Amiga whilst I was growing up and my parents got me a Playstation in around 95/96. I got to play a Mega Drive/SNES at other peoples houses and always wanted one but the Amiga was enough (Which to be fair it was and I hold really fond memories of it) so my retro gaming/collecting is mostly a chance to explore a lot of the games I missed out on, or to see the superior versions of them.

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Postby Shamsiel-kun » Fri May 13, 2016 12:06 pm

Received some more games, and I've also been playing some of the ones I already got some more too.

Thoughts:
  • Played some more Puyo Puyo Sun after looking up a translation of the menu, which was very useful as it allowed me to set the difficulty to "Silver", which is easier than "Very easy". Managed to actually finish the single player game after a lot of tries, as even on "easier than very easy" the game had something of a learning curve. Discovered one little issue: the game doesn't save high scores depending on the difficulty level, so if I change the difficulty level to something harder I have to erase my old scores to actually make the score board :um: Also discovered that in the options screens there are some hidden goodies: very badly compressed videos of a live concert at a Puyo Puyo event (sound is good though).
  • Played some more Puyo Puyo Tsu too, setting the difficulty level to easy, and only managed to get to the end of the tutorial game (level 4) with a lot of trouble, getting my ass handed to me by the damn chicken again and again. This is a lot harder than Sun. This one also has some hidden stuff.
  • Tried the aforementioned Macross game, swore repeatedly at the controls which kinda sucked and got my ass kicked. On the other hand, it's based on the Do You Remember Love movie and uses pixelated versions of actual movie scenes. That's very cool.
  • Tried In The Hunt, only to discover it wouldn't load on my Saturn HST-3200 (hangs after the Sega screen). Apparently it only works on the 3210 model, because of a bug in the boot code. :( Might have to try that one on a emulator instead.
  • Played some Skull Fang, actually managed to get quite far. I like the graphics, even though the background are very pixelated. Enemies look like cell-shaded CGI...before it was invented. ^_^
  • Tried Virtual On, swore a lot at the pad controls and was actually quite surprised at how much slower the game felt compared to the PC version. It's not only a 30 fps vs. 60 fps issue, the whole game felt a lot more sluggish on the Saturn (it also looks ugly). I will have to try again with Twin Sticks. The Saturn version does have some additional game modes compared to the PC version, but if gameplay is this bad with Twin Sticks too I will know which version I prefer.
  • Tried two Galaxy Fraulein Yuna omake discs, which contain tons of illustrations and other stuff, some of which is not present in the three official artbooks I have. Too bad the images are low resolution and not anti-aliased.
  • Played much more Gals Panic SS, unlocking all the additional characters and then trying to get a 100% score on each level, because that unlocks additional illustrations. Getting 100% on some of the levels is very hard, as you have to push the enemy outside of the silhouette of the girl and some silhouettes take up most of the available room. Also concluded that whoever wrote the review on Gamefaqs didn't play this game: there's no nudity apart from sometimes skimpy swimsuits and cleavage in this game, nor are there lingerie scenes...actually, I like it more this way. There's also a girl whose SD version looks very much like Asuka (but personality-wise she's no Asuka). One thing I like about the game is that although it seems to have the typical stock characters (outdoors girl, sporty girl, tomboy, meganekko, Osakan, Okinawan, rich girl, office lady, etc.) personality-wise they don't really match their looks in typical anime-fashion.
  • Tried out a game pad I bought second hand, made by Hori, who also make excellent quality arcade-style sticks for fighting games. Auto-fire/turbos on all buttons, slow mode, fits better in my hands than the stock Saturn pad (which is already quite good), very responsive feel. Some games don't like the slow option though. Right now it has replaced my standard Saturn pad.
  • Tried WipeOut XL (WipeOut 2097). The easy circuits are easier than the original WipeOut, but the more difficult ones harder. Lack of Championship mode was a bit of a bummer. It looks a lot better though.
  • Tried the Japanese version of Mass Destruction (which has a nice tree on the front of the manual). Which is just the English version formatted for the Japanese Saturn. The entire game is in English, including mission briefings (which probably explains why those are repeated in the manual in Japanese). This game is awesome. And sociopathic. Very sociopathic (like Grand Theft Auto). You can destroy many many things with your SD tank. Buildings (they explode and/or burn). Other tanks (they explode). Trees (they explode and burn). People (they also explode and burn, screaming). There's missions. There's tons of weapons, most of which cause more explosions. You also explode, when you fail a mission or try to drive underwater. Then there's the high score screen, which shows the default high scores. With the names of influential philosophers next to them. :D That made me laugh loudly. The game is also quite hard, not helped by the somewhat wonky tank controls (see that going back and forth in videos? That's people dealing with the controls).
  • Tried Backguiner, which I picked up because a certain site with tons of Saturn game reviews suggested it was quite playable for non-Japanese. I was lost. All the menus are in Japanese. There's a lot of menus. There's no FAQ available. Fuck. Fuck, because it has very high quality animation sequences, styled like an anime movie, a plot, and gameplay looks like an interesting isometric strategy-RPG. It has aliens, powered suits, many different weapon options...
  • Played, yes played, a lot of Thunder Force AC, from Thunder Force Gold Pack 2. It has a Easy mode, + Kids mode, and that combination makes it the easiest of the Thunder Force games on the Saturn. Perfect learning experience. Managed to get to level 7, once to level 8, with continues. Still quite hard. The bosses are harder than in Thunder Force III, but the levels easier. Also, better music, and the scores are saved even if you don't reach the end of the game. Also tried it without Kids mode, and saw there were more enemies (and got my arse kicked). I also discovered there's a boss I can kill in one second flat by selecting the "Sever" weapon, flying to the right edge of the screen, and pushing the fire button, shooting the boss point blank the moment it comes onto the screen :D Now if the level 7 and 8 bosses were this easy... :uhh:
  • Thunder Force IV from the same disc is gorgeous, but hard, even on Kids mode (Christ, the bosses! The BOSSES.). Managed to finish two levels, but in the other two I either die a lot while flying between spaceships or am trounced by the end boss. A weird thing is that this game can read from the cartridge, but not save to it, while AC can save to both the Saturn's own memory and the cartridge.
  • Then tried Thunder Force III again, managed to get to level 4 (Hades) this time. TF III has no easy mode. It has Kids mode, but the lowest difficulty mode is "Normal", and that one is still hard. Also, the "Hades" level lives up to its name. :cringe:
  • Then tried Thunder Force V another time, didn't get p0wned on the first level this time, and then managed to get to the second, and then later third level. Also managed to complete level 1 without dying. Free Range is an awesome weapon, but aiming it is a pain in the arse.
The singularity is the rapture for nerds, dude. It's not going to happen. - Chuckman


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