News: Some modern S/NES players and devices

A fellow sent me some interesting newsbits regarding super/famiclones that play real carts, and I’m pretty much reproducing them verbatim.

The Retro Duo is like the FC Twin but looks kind of shiny and neat, plus will play games that the FC Twin won’t. I’ve heard its made by the same people who made the FC Twin, but this being the internet there’s no firm proof of that or anything else I’m going to write. Reports thus far indicate it can play Super Mario RPG, and it’s speculated it can play Kirby Super Star as well. StarFox is also confirmed. Some comments on YouTube claim it even plays Castlevania III. Here‘s the YouTube video of a guy testing it out.

There’s a new product at Retrozone that’s designed to be soldered to a real NES. This is effectively a cart dumper but it’s also a debugger (it attaches a USB port to the back of an NES). It would be cool if it led to people making NES homebrew on a scale of

The company that makes it is called “Sealie Computing.” <Brandon’s note: we’ve covered them in the past, as they made the NES Flash cart and USB NES controllers among other things.> This guy also makes stuff for Apple’s old PDA the Newton. He got an edutainment program called “MathFaster“, which has the same seal that’s printed on the NES copier circuit board. More interesting, though, is that the game uses Megaman as one of the central characters.” Thanks to Scott Winston for sending this in.

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News: Some new Insomnia reviews

nightslave.jpgJust a note that you should check out Insomnia for couple-month-old reviews of some interesting titles. One is Shin Chuka Taisen, which we’ve discussed many times. It’s the Wii shooter starring Son Son, which is supposed to come to the U.S. via UFO as The Monkey King, with Amazon calling an April 15 release date. The short version is: high res sprites are pretty much the only good thing about it.

The other review you should check out is Night Slave (not work safe), an action/shooting/hentai game for PC-98 hardware. Looks quite nice, and people don’t generally talk about these games in english.

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News: Remembering the XaviXPORT

You might’ve heard about the XaviXPORT a while back…or maybe not. I thought I posted about it some years ago, but I can’t find evidence of it now. The XaviXPORT an entertainment and fitness console which uses motion sensing to allow you to box, play tennis, baseball, bowl, golf, fish, and even do aerobics exercises with a mat on the floor – and it was all released in 2004. There’s also a psuedo-predecessor to Wii Fit. Trouble is they sold all of these games separately, each with a different peripheral, and they don’t have the clout or polish Nintendo does…but there sure are a lot of parallels. The then-titled Revolution was already announced at the time, but it wasn’t yet known that it was motion control-based. Reading a review of the XaviXPORT on G4’s site is humorous not just because of the poor and pandering language, but also the fact that with a few changed words, this could be a newspaper-savvy level (that is to say low) review of a Wii:

The Xavix gaming system is a neat idea and great for a party. The graphics are nothing to call home about, but the simple system provides hours of great group fun

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News: Super A’can

Taiwan is better known for game piracy than game consoles, by and large, but an original legit console was released there in 1995 – Funtech’s Super A’can. One of two main sources for information on this console is Wikipedia which has some interesting information, which is also impossible to prove. It is known that the system runs on the legendary Motorola 68000 chip, and has 12 confirmed games, with several more rumored to exist. The article also reports that the company lost U.S. $6 million on the venture, which is the cost of only 3/5 the cost of a modern game’s development, so they shouldn’t be crying! Control pads were Genesis-like in appearance, but not compatible with any Sega system.

The other main source is here, through the site of an eBay reseller. There’s also a page with game boxes and screens. All references to this console say it’s “nothing special,” but it looks pretty neat to me in the visual department at least. There’s actually one for sale on Singapore’s eBay, for about U.S. $190, and two games as well. My stupid brain is tempted.

I can’t find any evidence of Funtech anymore (possibly Fun Tech), so please share information if you’ve got it. points to a different company, so that’s a bust.

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News: Lego Racer Sluts

I got this image from a mysterious source – apparently the Danish version of Lego Racers (and maybe all Danish racing games, if there are many translated into that language?) has an interesting message, at least for English speakers, when you finish a race. This is confirmed as a real screenshot, not a photoshopped image. I carefully navigated Danish-themed pornography sites to determine that “slut” means “the end” in Danish, so it’s not crazy. Just funny.

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News: Famicom/Megadrive remakes

A commenter in that Cinnamon Pirate post I just linked up made an interesting discovery. It’s a Japanese site (run by rinkaku) devoted to game hacks and original remakes for the Famicom… including games like Dragon Quest 8, Zelda: Link to the Past, Golden Axe, a Tomb Raider action RPG, a Titanic game based on the movie, Chrono Trigger, a bunch of Pokemon games, and Diablo II for Famicom among a HUGE slew of others, and a weird Lord of the Rings fighter, Final Fantasy 1, and a surprisingly good looking Super Mario World for Megadrive.

It’s worth just going through the whole list of titles…there’s lots of cool stuff in here, all with pictures. Rinkaku has a few videos up as well – there’s the FFVII one linked below, but also DQ 8 and its ending, Romancing SaGa and its ending, and a game called The Hacker, which is based on the Matrix, and has floating internet explorer logos in it.

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News: FF VII Famicom, with video

You probably saw this elsewhere… I wasn’t able to post while at GDC – but if you didn’t, check out this very neat find, a NES “port” of Final Fantasy VII for Famicom. The article goes quite in depth on it, including what’s still in from the original and what isn’t, so give it a read. Seems they really managed to squeeze a lot of it in there. I imagine that someone will eventually translate this from Chinese into English, now that it’s been found?

Here’s something you may not have seen though – a youtube video of the game.

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News: Horizontal shooter screensaver

DesertDog posted in the forums that he made a screen saver out of horizontally scrolling shooters. It’s got a moving starfield, and then a ship from a given game scrolls across at a random height, with the name of the game, the developer, and the year also displayed. It’s a pretty fantastic thing, and even if you haven’t installed a screensaver in years (like me) this is well worth a download. It’s got over 30(?) ships in it, and sometimes I just leave it looping! Thanks to Luke for the new screen.

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