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The Spam Thread!

Ahh. StarFox. One of the franchises that Nintendo loves to reboot every 10 years or so. Tongue

Case in point. Tonight, I started playing StarFox 64 3D for the 3DS. The improved graphics are great (though well behind StarFox Zero, more on that in a minute) and it's nice to be able to take a full StarFox game on the go, and save your progress along the way! I prefer this version over the N64 original.

With this great 3D upgrade, they could have built upon it and released a direct sequel on the 3DS or even Wii U. But, knowing Nintendo, they didn't do that.

They rebooted the franchise once more, with the infamous StarFox Zero on Wii U.

It was infamous for a few reasons, such as the rehashed storyline and the forced game pad gyro control scheme. However. the graphics are stunning, even for the Wii U. And, believe it or not, I'm part of the minority that actually liked this game. Yes, the story needed a lot more baking in the oven, but I got used to the odd control scheme and for me, it plays very well.

I do hope StarFox Zero gets remade for the Nintendo Switch. The only way such a remake would work is if Nintendo ditches the odd gyro controls for the more standard analog stick movement, like StarFox 64 3D. Since a lot of StarFox fans (and Nintendo fans in general) placed many of their complaints on the Wii U gyro controls, it's best if they went back to the analog stick controls if Nintendo ever hopes to WinBackTheCrowd.

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A remake of a remake... Clearly Nintendo has lost touch of reality.

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(05-22-2018, 05:40 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  A remake of a remake... Clearly Nintendo has lost touch of reality.

They had to make the 3DS appealing somehow. Tongue And I don't even use the 3D since it makes my eyes feel weird. It's fine and dandy in 2D.

When it comes to the Nintendo Switch, their ports of old Wii U titles make a bit more sense since hardly anyone bought a Wii U. The Switch versions of these games appear to be far more successful than their Wii U counterparts, so that leads me to believe StarFox Zero can theoretically be saved if they port it over, spiff up the graphics a bit and remove those controversial motion controls.

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Agreed, porting them to the Switch makes sense partly to recoup the loss made from developing it on a platform nobody cared about.

And I guess that accounted for why Nintendo decided to play it safe with the stereoscopic stuff through warnings discouraging younger children from turning it on, even if ophthalmologists state that it isn't necessary.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRW8FcUoc-g
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPxYgKO0F9g

Now, for something completely different. This is a rather splendid old infomercial for a seemingly innovative product called the Red Devil Grill, the "portable outdoor kitchen". It's in two parts and some of the infomercial wasn't recorded, but this is the only trace of the ad on YouTube at present.  The product tried to take the old fashioned outdoor grilling concept to the next level with a unique design and all sorts of interchangeable accessories. The hosts may seem familiar to anyone who knows about a later infomercial product called the Magic Bullet, but that's another time. Wink

As for the Red Devil Grill, hardly anyone remembers it these days because it was subject to two different recalls in 2002, both of them involving design flaws with how the grill is lit. Because of that, burn hazards and grill collapses were aplenty. On top of that the original manufacturer went bankrupt, leaving refund duties to several retailers like Kmart, QVC, etc.

Too bad this grill was a fire hazard. Otherwise, it would have been an innovative concept... if perhaps only in theory. As with these "Made for TV" products, real world performance is obviously not as good as the infomercials make them out to be.

You may remember that at one time, I had a Mac Mini from 2011 through early 2016, and I sometimes regret selling it off. By now, it would be good enough qualification to be a true Low End Mac. In fact, the recent lines of Mac Mini computers could be considered low end since they haven't been updated since 2014, and all feature dual core Intel CPUs and integrated graphics.

There are times that I consider going back to the "dark side", so to speak and get either a new Mac Mini, or go with the full iMac experience. The main thing holding me back is cost, of course. I also look at Apple's increasingly walled garden approach, but it also appears MS is trying a similar concept with Windows 10 "S Mode" with an easy free way to unlock Win32 support.

The only real reason I stick with Windows is Pinball Arcade. There is a Mac App Store version, but the graphics aren't as great. Yet, it's still registered to my Apple account along with several other games and apps. There is sad news from the Pinball Arcade developers that in June, you will no longer be able to purchase Williams/Bally themed tables due to the IP holder not renewing the contract. Sad At least you can still download tables you already purchased, but this of course leaves the future of Pinball Arcade in doubt.

My thought is getting an iMac/Mac Mini, cut back on the Windows PC games (I seriously have too many), and gifting Pearl to my mom to replace her aging HP all in one from 2012. That HP is one of the lower end models, and though she just uses the computer for office work, it's still showing it's age because of the constant Windows 10 updates.

It's just an idea at this stage. Who knows if it will progress?

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On second thought, maybe I should stick with what I have and instead try to get my mom an updated AIO PC. I desire to build her a new PC from scratch, but she really prefers the AIOs as it's easier for her to to manage cables and whatnot. If I do get her a new AIO, I will ensure it has a decent CPU and RAM speed.

As for Pearl, I need to get her 1TB drive somehow.

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As long as the AIO is still modular to some degree, I'd take it. It's a bummer if the AIO in question has the storage or RAM soldered in, limiting expandability and reinforcing that planned obsolescence conspiracy that Apple and various others are accused of.

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(05-26-2018, 09:49 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  As long as the AIO is still modular to some degree, I'd take it. It's a bummer if the AIO in question has the storage or RAM soldered in, limiting expandability and reinforcing that planned obsolescence conspiracy that Apple and various others are accused of.

I'll take note of that. I will ensure it has at least 8GB RAM at purchase, and that it's upgradable. These AIOs nearly always use integrated graphics, which take away system RAM for VRAM. Hard drive needs to be 1TB as well, preferably a 7200rpm speed.

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(05-26-2018, 11:58 PM)cpd2009 Wrote:  
(05-26-2018, 09:49 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  As long as the AIO is still modular to some degree, I'd take it. It's a bummer if the AIO in question has the storage or RAM soldered in, limiting expandability and reinforcing that planned obsolescence conspiracy that Apple and various others are accused of.

I'll take note of that. I will ensure it has at least 8GB RAM at purchase, and that it's upgradable. These AIOs nearly always use integrated graphics, which take away system RAM for VRAM. Hard drive needs to be 1TB as well, preferably a 7200rpm speed.
Good call. She may not be a power user as you stated earlier, but it shouldn't hurt to future-proof things somewhat.

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The current state of retro game collecting is rather sad.

I started building my retro collecting back in 2005, with my first purchases of a couple NES games. They weren't anything special, but it was a start. It took a bit of time to get all the original Mario games and the more well-known classics. It was also more affordable back then.

Nowadays, it's becoming a very expensive hobby. Perhaps a bit too expensive. I remember purchasing my copy of TMNT IV Turtles in Time for around $25 to $30. Current eBay prices as of June 2018: $40 to $60 USD depending on condition. The more desirable, rare games cost even more. I want to give Little Samson or the Power Blade games a try. If I want a cartridge copy of these games, I will end up paying hundreds of dollars because of these games' rarity. I also wanted to play EarthBound on SNES, and I finally got to play it... on my 3DS. It's more affordable to give Nintendo your eShop money for a ROM rather than find the cartridge on eBay because it's so damn expensive. EarthBound is rare and expensive because of Nintendo (or rather their American division) being completely stupid with the games US advertising, using 90s gross out humor to sell the game. The games ad tagline was "This game stinks.". Talk about a real way to alienate potential buyers of a very awesome RPG that isn't even built on said 90s gross out humor. But hey, it was the 90s. I digress...

Anyway, all of this got me thinking. What is the point of keeping my current retro game collection when I can easily sell it off, get a good return on my investment, and just emulate the games going forward? Yes, it's piracy, but people emulate the classics all the time including well known YouTube producers like Stuart Ashen. The rights of many of the obscure titles are unknown as well, because the devs/publishers either have gone out of business or the rights are spread across multiple companies. Because of that, such classics can only be readily enjoyed using emulation. And due to said rights issues, these games will likely never be re-released on a digital platform. In a sense, ROMs can be considered a form of abandonware if the company no longer exists or the rights are unknown.

My personal life is also starting to become more complicated. I will eventually move to full time employment, which will greatly reduce the time I can devote to playing video games. As my collections have grown so large, it's becoming a chore to choose what to play and when. Eventually, I may figure out how to manage my time better, but even so, if I end up having to move every few years at some point, it's going to be tough to haul my game collection from place to place.

It will be hard letting my collection go, but one thing is certain. I will give more serious retro gamers a chance to build their collections, while knowing I can still play many classics any time I want. The question remains... what kind of emulation type should I go for? There are those portable emulation devices which widely vary in quality. I can build another dedicated PC for game emulation purposes, or get an old Wii console, hack it, and install emulators. What about those awesome retro carts for old systems that allow you to stash ROMs on a CF or SD card and play them on a real system? The possibilities are endless.

As a rule though, I still plan on purchasing game ROMs released through legal means, such as through Steam or Nintendo eShop. If they are otherwise unavailable or rare, emulation I shall do. I'm also going to start building an arcade ROM collection as well since that Pandoras Box arcade stick has issues. I will paste that video in a separate post.

In closing, I heard that the Switch will not have a standard Virtual Console, but rather a monthly selection of old Nintendo ROMs available as part of their forthcoming paid online service. Hey, at least they aren't selling you the same ROMs again. :/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtiU8pVlads

Here is a link to that Pandoras Box 5s video review.

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