Tagged "Nintendo"

Jun 29
By Matt Gander In Cache in the Attic 2 Comments

Loose copies of Taito’s Little Samson on NES can fetch up to £100 due to its rarity. You’d think that a complete copy would only fetch a little more, but not so – this new and sealed copy netted a US seller $5,500.00 (£3,444.39) after 29 bids. What is it with Americans paying stupid amounts of money for NES games? Still, $5,500 is nothing compared to what that infamous copy of Stadium Events sold for.

One lucky seller is also ending this month a whole lot richer after selling two new and sealed Nintendo Game & Watch LCD handhelds. Octopus sold for £2,999 on Buy it Now while a panorama view Mickey Mouse went for £2,000 on a Best Offer. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks he’s a taking the Mickey to charge £10 postage on top of those prices. Just to confirm its actual worth, another complete Mickey Mouse recently sold at $999.00 (£625.63) with one bid.

Because Sega released Sonic & Knuckles in a cardboard case it can be hard to find a boxed copy. And when they do turn up boxed it’s usually in bad condition. Not this French copy that sold for €511.56 though (£453.80) – it’s new and sealed in a blister pack. He also got €121.00 (£107.34) for a copy of Sonic 3 in similar packaging. Blister packed games are common in France. They were often used as it allowed toy shops, supermarkets and the like to display and sell games without fear of the contents being stolen or damaged.

Seeing as it’s Sonic’s 20th this month, here are a few other hedgehog related items. A Brazilian TecToy release of Sonic Spinball on Master System spun £49.99 out of somebody on Buy It Now, this Tomy Sonic Pinball game went for £29.99 while somebody thought £41.37 was a fair price to pay for a Sonic costume. Gosh!

With The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D riding high in the charts now is as good as time as any to give Link some loving too. A signed copy of Ocarina of Time on N64 went for £155 (13 bids). Obviously it was signed by Shigeru Miyamoto, and not the seller’s mum. A Zelda Game & Watch also netted £205 (8 bids), and proving that there are a lot of mugs out there a Zelda edition Game Boy Advance SP sold for £200 on Buy It Now. That said, another went for £109.99.

There hasn’t been much of note going on in the world of PlayStation collecting – apart from a sealed fishing game selling for an absurd $90.00 (£56.36) – so we’re going to have to turn to the obscure stuff.

How’s about this? A development copy of Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy on Atari Jaguar which ended at $75.00 (£46.97). The seller was unable to find buyers for his 8 other development cartridges though. Random fact: Trevor McFur made up 50% of the Atari Jaguar’s US launch line-up. The other 50% was the pack-in game Cybermorph.

Then on NEOGEO copies of Super Sidekicks 4, World Heroes Perfect and the brilliantly named Bang Bang Busters sold for £887.08, £637.90 and £520.00 respectably.

The NEOGEO – the only console that you have to sell a kidney to be able to buy new games for.

Jun 22
By Matt Gander In We've Got Issues 5 Comments

Every month Matt pulls a magazine out for under his bed and gives it a fine going over. Stop giggling at the back there – we’re talking about a video game magazine. This month: issue 54 of N64 Magazine from May 2001.

Now here’s a publication that you always knew where you stood with – the writers were completely biased. Biased, that is, towards decent games that made good use of the N64’s then powerful innards. The best games the N64 had to offer were celebrated and praised heavily; lazily made games were frowned upon and laughed at. The system’s worst games were often ridiculed months after their release, with Superman 64 being just one game that was taunted on a regular basis. Did somebody say something about mazes?

When the N64 launched a wealth of N64 magazines littered the shelves. I forgot their names but pretty much all of them had ’64’ in their titles. One by one they ceased to be, but N64 magazine continued to stand proud, adapting to the N64’s staggered release schedule by including a Game Boy Color section – in which games were rated out of five – and later Game Boy Advance reviews. When Nintendo World magazine folded they also pinched a few of their more interesting regular features. The magazine eventually turned into NGC Magazine before becoming NGamer. Fun fact: they originally planned to call NGamer ‘Game N’ until they released what it sounded like when said out loud.

During the early days, when new releases were thin on the ground, they would often review the US or Japanese version of a game one month and then the UK version the month after. Finding new games to review also led them to covering some very obscure Japanese titles such as Wonder Project J2, 64 O-Sumo and Get A Love: Panda Love Unit.

Regular readers were treated to a string of in jokes and seemingly random updates on how the office plant was doing. Some of the better free gifts taped to the front cover included a cart rack, a Worms Armageddon ballpoint pen, and a box resembling a VHS case designed to protect your copy of Donkey Kong 64. It is impossible to tell if any of these gifts were worth any more (or less) than £7.

Let’s take a look at the issue in our hand, which rather bizarrely dedicates the front cover to the Game Boy Advance and gave Custom Robo V2 a higher score than Banjo-Tooie.

Issue 54 Highlights

  • Best feature: How to squirrel away all the cash in Conker’s BFD
  • Best quote from above article: “Many faults stop it hitting the magical 90% mark. Score: 89%”
  • Lowest review score: WCW Backstage Assault, 46%
  • Highest review score: Custom Robo V2, 84%
  • Best quote from letters page: “Can you play Dreamiest [sic] games on GameCube?”

Even though the reviewers were sent their games for free, you could tell that they understood that £50-£60 was a hell of a lot of money for their readers to shell out. This showed not just in their honest reviews but the lengths they took to show their readers how to get the most of their games. The only real gripe I can aim at the magazine is that they once put Gex on the front cover. If they were struggling for content that month, they should have just put an image of a Grackler on there.

May 25
By Matt Gander In Cache in the Attic, Retro 1 Comment

After finding a boxed Game Boy Color in a charity shop for £2 earlier this month, most of my searches on eBay have been Game Boy related. As such, you can probably guess what format I’m going to kick off this month’s eBay round-up with.

Despite being in abundance, the Pokemon games are still quite desirable. Even more so if they’re boxed and sealed. This copy of Pokemon Yellow went for £142.99 (17 bids), while a sealed Pokemon Blue sold for £137.99 (31 bids). A nice looking Famtisu Game Boy – which comes attached to a rather flimsy looking piece of cardboard rather than in a box – failed to find a seller at £169.99, but this boxed original Game Boy fetched £92 after 20 bids. The seller still had the plastic bags for the handheld and the rest of its gubbins.

A Sega GameGear managed to sell for even more than that – this rare and fully reconditioned white GameGear went for £149.99. Bidding wasn’t fierce though – it only attracted one lone soul. Proving that the Atari Lynx is rather underloved is this factory sealed Lynx which sold for a mere £31.99. That’s not far off the value of some of the rarest games for it, such as Lemmings – a copy of which sold for £24 (8 bids) – and Desert Strike, which ended at £20.13 (4 bids).

One format that has always been popular with collectors is the Sega Saturn. A review copy of Resident Evil sold for an absurd £205 (13 bids), while the rare PAL version of Street Fighter Collection managed to dragon punch £107 out of somebody’s wallet. Or PayPal account. Despite being announced for Xbox Live Arcade, or possibly because it has just been announced, Guardian Heroes seems to be selling for more than ever with this copy hitting £77 (11 bids). I don’t recall Sega’s Mr. Bones being very good which is probably why it’s now rare – a UK version went for £102 (12 bids). Lord knows why it’s on 2 CDs – it was just a shoddy 2D platformer. Lastly, a copy of Deep Fear – the final UK Saturn game – sold for £96.20 (12 bids).

A couple of sealed PlayStation games have also fetched high sums this month, like this copy of Digimon World that went for £67 (21 bids), and this copy of Parasite Eve 2 which sold for £54.99 (9 bids). Then there’s this copy of Ocean’s Cool World on SNES which bagged the seller £95 despite being a loose cart only, and this sealed copy of Duke Nukem 64 for, well, you can guess, which ended at £67.50 (8 bids). That’s probably not far off from the price it originally cost.

We’ll end on a modern note with two limited edition Xbox 360 consoles. A Halo 3: ODST system bagged a lucky American $821.79 (approximately £507.43), while a system given away during the Xbox 360’s launch party went for $700.00 (approximately £432.23). I have to say I quite like the two tone controller with the latter.

Mar 25
By Matt Gander In Retro No Comments

The Nintendo 3DS is released in the UK today. Being at the cutting edge of games journalism, we can bring you a complete look at Nintendo’s first 3D hardware. That is to say: the Virtual Boy. Not the 3DS.

Back in 1995 Nintendo went head first – no pun intended – into the world of virtual reality, despite claims that Atari’s prototype Jaguar VR headsets (and the Sega VR add-on) were giving testers motion sickness and headaches.

As predicted by many videogame journalists back in the day, it was a move that didn’t pay off. Indeed, GamePro infamously reported that they had more fun playing with the bubble wrap the console came packed in rather than the Virtual Boy itself.

Designed by the late Gunpei Yokoi, the machine launched in Japan in July 1995, and August 1995 in North America for $180. It ran off six AA batteries that lasted for around an impressive 7 hours, and was bundled with the reasonably enjoyable Mario Tennis. A red screen was chosen because red LEDs drain less battery power than any other colour. That, fact fans, is why standby lights on household appliances are always red. The joypad bore resemblance to the GameCube controller, featuring not one but two d-pads. As per all Nintendo joypads – the palm denting NES controller aside – it was comfortable to use and hold.

Although the machine had a 32-bit processor and was capable of producing 3D visuals, the Virtual Boy’s forte was to create an illusion of depth through rotating mirrors inside the headset. In Wario Land for instance, the portly doppelganger could jump out of the background and foreground to avoid swinging blades and such, whilst in 2D shooter Virtual Force the craft could move up and down to different planes to avoid enemies.

Only 33 games were released in total – 14 in the US and 19 in Japan. Many more, including GoldenEye 007, Donkey Kong Country 2 and VB Mario Land were in development but were swiftly canned. Figures suggest that there were 770,000 consoles sold in total, with only 140,000 of those in Nintendo’s home country.

Within a year Nintendo pulled the plug and had cancelled the proposed European launch. A lack of decent titles, the imminent release of the PlayStation, Saturn and Nintendo 64 itself, known then as Ultra 64, all added up to the machine’s demise. There was also fact that you were susceptible to having ‘kick me’ signs stuck on your back while playing.

Due to its quirkiness – plus the fact that it was made by Nintendo – the machine has managed to sell for a steady price on the second hand market. It’s also quite easy to get hold of original sealed copies of games: the machine was such a flop that many stores were left with countless unsold games eventually flogged for next to nothing. Some of the final releases can go for hundreds on a good day, while obscure Japanese release Virtual Lab is sought after due to the misspelling of Nintendo – ‘Ninntenndo’ is written not just on the back of the box but also on the cartridge itself.

With the 3DS now upon us there is a chance that we’ll get to experience the system’s finer software via the handheld’s Virtual Console service. Nintendo aren’t totally oblivious to the system’s existence after all – Wario Ware Inc: Mega Microgame$ featured a mini-game based on Mario Clash, while the recent Donkey Kong Country Returns was going to have a red-hued Virtual Boy-style level.

And yes, we have named this feature after a Hugh Grant film. Sorry about that.

Mar 14
By Matt Gander In Blog 1 Comment

Japan’s biggest publishers have dug deep into their pockets to help assist those suffering in their home country. Nintendo and Sony have dug the deepest dishing out ¥300m (£2.26m) each while SEGA Sammy has given ¥200m (£1.5m). Thoughtfully, Sony has also supplied 30,000 radios.

Namco Bandai has closed their arcades to help save power as well as donate a modest ¥100m (£760,000). Also to help save energy Square-Enix and Konami have shut off many of their servers.

Irem has canned their survival sim Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories (pictured) for PlayStation 3 too. You may know the series either as Raw Danger or SOS: Final Escape, depending on which country you live in.

Outside of Japan, both Sony and Sega have decided to postpone two of their titles – Motorstorm: Apocalypse now as a release date of “TBA” in Europe while Sega’s Yakuza 4, which features a zombie outbreak and is set entirely in Japan, has been delayed.

Feb 15
By Matt Gander In Retro 3 Comments

Being the mere human that I am, curiosity runs through my veins. Bootleg multi-game carts just so happen to be something that gets my curiosity glands flowing – there’s joy to be had from coming across one of these mystical beasts, plugging it in, and seeing what treasures it contains. If you’re currently scratching your head, allow me to fill in the blanks – multi-game carts are cartridges often manufactured in places like Hong Kong, Taiwan and Cornwall and contain copious amounts of pirated software.

When it comes to making a purchase you never know what you’re going to get. Some promise 50-odd games but only actually contain a few games cheekily repeated with different names. My worst offender is a Mega Drive cartridge promising 500 titles but the genuine amount is just 5. This means that some poor soul had to think up of 495 alternative names for the 5 games it included – Rambo III, Tiny Toons, The Flintstones, Sunset Riders and World Cup 92, if you’re wondering.

Others live up to their promise of featuring whatever number is printed on the label, albeit the bootleggers have chosen older games that are small in memory size so they can be crammed into the innards of a cheaply manufactured cartridge. The artwork on the cartridge label can never be taken as gospel either – some mention or feature artwork from games that are nowhere to be found. One Game Boy Advance cartridge I own has boxart from Yoshi’s Island, Gladius and Power Rangers but doesn’t contain any of them.

Game Boy Advance multi-carts in particular are brilliant finds for retro fanatics – they usually contain a couple of Game Boy Advance games and a lengthy list of NES and Famicom titles. This amuses me greatly – when Nintendo released the NES Classics range they charged £15 for a single NES game on a Game Boy Advance cartridge.

Sega GameGear multi-carts are interesting too – most have a handful of GameGear games plus Japanese SG-1000/Sega Mark III (aka Master System) games such as Transbot, Teddy Boy and My Hero. One of my GameGear carts has a reset switch on the cartridge itself which helps battery consumption as you don’t have to keep power cycling the handheld to choose games. Another GameGear multi-cart features shoddy versions of Super Mario Bros. and Dr. Mario – known as Super Boy 2 and Dr. Hello.

For collectors multi-carts are highly desirable, especially those that come with boxes. And with new variants always being discovered – it’s impossible to tell how many of these things were made – there’s always something to keep your eye out for on the likes of eBay.

NB: Games Asylum does not condone piracy of any kind. We didn’t even like the fact that there’s going to be a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Feb 09
By Matt Gander In Our Pixilated Past 2 Comments

Released: 2000
Formats: Game Boy Color

Animal rights organisation PETA has been around since 1980 and occasionally backlash against videogames which feature animal harming for entertainment. Super Meat Boy and Cooking Mama are two titles that have recently rattled their cage… pun fully intended. It’s odd, then, that Taito’s Monkey Puncher managed to escape their attention because, as the incredibly stupendous title suggests, it’s a simian boxing sim.

The plot is both silly and simple – mysterious gangsters known as the ‘Saru Group’ have been kidnapping monkey trainers with the assistance of mind control. After their father goes missing, Kenta and Sumire (the two playable characters) decide to raise a monkey fighter of their own in order to find his whereabouts.

Best described as a mixture of Pokemon and a generic virtual pet, your chosen chimp has to be kept happy and well fed, while playing the training mini-games will improve its strength and stamina. Every now and then an invite for a monkey punching match appears, which can be accepted or declined. These matches take place in boxing rings where sadly interaction is only limited to hammering the A button to help your monkey back on their feet. When loosing a match, the trainer yells “You ass as you!” while at the end of each day he or she says “Tomorrow I’ll also work hard!” The translation may be garbled, but it does add a degree of charm to the proceedings.

Before having to fight for his life, your primate pal has to be tamed by giving him food and calling its name via the menus. Once disciplined the fun starts – you can send the critter on shopping errands and praise or “rebuke” its random purchases, send it on dates with other monkeys in hope of being able to breed a super monkey, or take it training. Training stages are pleasingly simple – pick a subject (sit-ups, punch-bag, jogging, etc) and then press the A button in good timing to get a chain going.

It’s a very basic game at heart – it mostly boils down to selecting options from menus – but it’s also curiously addictive and as cute as a button. It’s just a shame that copies are hard to come by – European publisher Event vanished off the scene as quickly as they arrived.

Feb 08
By Matt Gander In Blog 3 Comments

I think Nintendo of Europe’s marketing has taken a tumble recently. First there were those ridiculous adverts with Jedward; now they’re making wild accusations as to which games we would “love”.

According to the display boxes of Mario Vs Donkey Kong on DS, if you like the hybrid of puzzle and platforming action it contains, you’ll also love Mario Sports Mix on Wii.

It’s a bit of a stupid claim to make: they’re not even of the same genre, let alone on the same console. The only connection is that they both feature a certain plumber.

It’s a bit like EA putting “If you like Dead Space 2, you’ll love Tiger Woods” on copies of their space-based shooter.

One good thing came out of this though – after uploading the photo above onto Twitter our loyal followers came up with their own ‘if you like X you’ll love Y’ jokes. Here are a few of the best:

If you love Halo Wars you’ll love Halo Reach.@sporkhead
Translation: “If you like this, you’ll like any old shit we tell you to.”@ProcJake
If you love Burning Rangers, you’ll love being a vet.@Stu_Dee_Jay
if you like filthy sluts, you’ll love nuns.@RyanLangham
oh for fuck sake, thats enough@ibbsters

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