Thursday, December 31, 2009

A message from Yuji Naka

Hello beloved Nomad Junkyard readers! I hope the holidays brought portable Sega goodness to you all. I wish I had had a stronger Sega Christmas, but the new year looks to offer great things. On the console side we have Bayonetta, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, and Project Needlemouse, while on the portable side we have the Sonic Classic Collection, Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, some additional mini-games for Super Monkey Ball 2 and maybe (just maybe) some bigger portable announcements from Sega. Come on Sega, Sonic CD for the iPhone!

Speaking of iPhone games, I've recently completed Let's Tap: Tap Runner and have to say that it is an awesome game! Not as good as the Wii version, but the controls and variety of courses make it rather addicting. Once one completes the game with all gold medals (first place in each course) they're greeted to this happy certificate:

Aw Yuji, you shouldn't have! I promise to aim for higher records, but only because you asked.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One Year of the Nomad 'Yard!

On December 12th, 2008 I posted the first article for The Nomad Junkyard (I missed it by ten days, but I'm remembering it nonetheless). Much has changed since TNJ debuted; visits have quintupled, I've been invited to write for Sega Memories, The Saturn 'Yard and The Dreamcast 'Yard and thanks to my spending addiction my Sega collection has nearly doubled!

A special thanks to all the readers, I'm excited to see what the second year of portable Sega gaming coverage will bring.

As a special holiday gift, here's a Sega holiday recipe:

Ice Cap Night Cap
1 Genesis or Mega Drive handheld
1 Sonic 3 Cartridge
1 Headphones
6 oz Eggnog
2 oz Spiced Rum

Mix the rum and eggnog in a medium glass and sprinkle nutmeg on top. Insert the Sonic 3 cartridge into the handheld and plug in and put on headphones. Boot up game. After Sega logo appears, press Up(x2), Down(x2), and Up(x4). The sound of a ring will confirm correct code entry. Hold A and press Start to enter the level select menu. Select Act 1 of Ice Cap Zone. Enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sonic and NO Mario at the Olympic Winter Games on the iPhone

Sega has just revealed that the popular Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games will be hitting the iPhone, but there's a catch! It seems Sonic pulled a Tonya Harding and shattered Mario's kneecaps, causing him to sit this one out (Olympic reference, though the real Tonya Harding failed to take out her competition). The game will feature zero Mario, with the title simply being Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games.

The reason for the lack of Mario is, of course, because the iPhone is a direct competitor in the world of online gaming with the Nintendo DS. No worries, the game looks to be packed full of Sonic characters, ten are available with two of them locked, and four events are featured: curling, figure skating, snowboard cross and something called skeleton. Rings, chaos and old school animal friends are littered throughout the stadiums and the graphics seem on par with the DS release. Of course, this isn't the full game, but at the presumed $9.99 price tag it looks to be worth it.

The game hits early 2010.

By the way:

[source: TouchArcade]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mobile Sega News Roundup

Hey gang! I feel so dirty when I go a week without making a post. I intend to rectify that right now!

Super Monkey Ball 2 for the iPhone Released
Just last week those monkeys in hamster balls returned to the iPhone and iPod touch. So far, reactions to the game have been mixed, but lean in the positive direction. The controls are much more responsive, the Wi-fi multiplayer is a welcome addition and the mini-games, while represented by "coming soon" messages, are promised to be released in a early 2010 update. As long as that update is free (which it will be) then I'm not complaining. The game is currently on sale for $9.99 at Apple's app store.

Thanks to the TouchArcade for the image and gameplay video:

Sonic Classics Collection officially announced
While I usually don't cover DS or PSP news, the Nomad Junkyard has a history of covering rereleases of Sonic the Hedgehog. This time, Sonic 1-3 & Knuckles are arriving on the Nintendo DS. What makes this rerelease unique is that it is the first time all four games have been rereleased together on a mobile platform. What more, they could very well be near-perfect versions of the Genesis classics (here's hoping).

SoA's press release:
Sonic Classic Collection™ allows fans both old and new to speed through the much loved zones of the four original Mega Drive adventures, in a bid to collect the chaos emeralds and save the world. Optimized to take full advantage of the Nintendo DS™ system, Sonic Classic Collection will feature a new save anywhere feature, a first in this original series, meaning that the games can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime! Gamers will also be given the chance to expand their knowledge with a wealth of extras including video and collectable pictures that are sure to be fan favorites.

Sonic Classic Collection™ gathers together the first four Sonic The Hedgehog adventures - Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2, Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles - introducing some of the most influential Sonic titles to a whole new generation of gamers exclusively for the DS.
The American box art (bright and happy!):

The European box art (sleek and blue, hindered by the ugly gigantic "U" rating symbol):

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Worthy Nomad Mod

While many of the Nomad mods that I've seen are little more than bizarre case modifications, Racketboy user hailrazer created a mod worthy of respect. If you're going to alter a Nomad, the best method is to alter it for the better. hailrazer picked up on two of the Nomad's weaker points and succeeded in improving them; those two points being the dated Led screen and short battery life.

hailrazer explains his process for replacing the screen:

First things first. Get rid of the old Lcd.
Open up the Nomad. You will need a security bit for the bottom/middle screw. After you open the Nomad , pull the circuit board up and you will see the Lcd. Pull it of and then pull of the lcd cable attached to the main board.

Now you just ruined your Nomad. Just kidding :)

Here is the new Lcd we will be using :
It is $50 shipped.

When we take it apart it will look like this :

Now what you want to do is get out your hot glue gun and glue the new Lcd into place. Make sure you get it centered. be aware the Lcd hole on the Nomad is slightly slanted so the Lcd will be slightly slanted when mounted.

Now it's time to solder the wires necessary to power the screen and get video to it.
You will be soldering 4 wires. 2 grounds, power, and video. the 2 ground wires go to the same spot on the Lcd's board.

Here is where the wires will be soldered to the Nomad's board :

After it is wired you will want to mount the Lcd's board on top of the Lcd. I put a small piece of paper between them to protect against shorts. You can then hot glue the 4 corners to hold it in place. :

Now put the Nomad back together. Make sure the wires are crimped anywhere, or in the way of the buttons.

Plug it in and see the new Lcd in all it's glory.

Here's a pic of what the old screen looked like:

hailrazer's images and walkthrough has been borrowed from his original post at Racketboy. I'm reposting it here out of respect for his awesome achievement. Check out the original posting for how he upgraded the battery for a life of 8.5 hours compared to the original 5.5 hours. Really impressive stuff!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Today is my Birthday, and what a perfect day for my PlaySEGA joypad to arrive!

The PlaySEGA joypad was, and still is, a membership perk for those who join SEGA's online gaming community. The pad garnered a lot of entusiasm from fans a few months back as it is an exact copy of the famous Saturn pad, complete with triggers and even CD control icons for stop, play, repeat and previous and next track. Unfortunately, the pad itself was delayed a month and a half. Despite this hiccup, the pad is finally here! Let's unbox it, shall we?

An unassuming white box.

An unassuming white bag.

An awesome pad!

There she is! A real beauty, eh? I can confirm right now that the pad is every bit as solid as the Saturn pad. They even used rubber on the start button! The only major difference from the Saturn pad is in the triggers. While the Saturn pad had a light computer mouse "click" to them, the PlaySEGA pad triggers are a little firmer. Still, this is not a negative as they function just as well and if anything they won't suffer from accidental clicks.

They even used the same font and Saturn CD controls!

While intended for use with, most gamers will be using this pad with emulator programs. I've just begun to test it out with Genesis Plus 1.3.0 on my iMac and it works great!

Essentially the exact same pad, and that's a good thing!

Overall, I really can't say much more than that the PlaySEGA pad is awesome. It's basically a Saturn pad with USB output. The different color scheme and quality PlaySEGA logo make it unique enough to be a must have for any SEGA hardware collector. C'mon! How often does SEGA make gaming equipment these days? Order yours today with a PlaySEGA membership!

PlaySEGA's pad receives:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saturn Anniversary Pickle Experience


It's been a while since I've done a Nomad On-The-Go article, mostly because I didn't have anywhere to go. This past Sunday I fulfilled one of my girlfriend's dreams by taking her across state lines to New York for the International Pickle Fest. Sunday was not only a special day for pickles, but also for Sega; it was the Sega Saturn's 15th Anniversary!

While I understand that the Saturn is not a mobile system, I just can't help myself in celebrating Sega anniversaries here at the Nomad 'Yard. In order to infuse Sega into a non-Sega day, I brought along my Sega Nomad as well as my iPod Touch for some mobile Sega gaming. I also promised myself that I would find at least ONE Sega related thing on our trip, photograph it and then write an On-The-Go article around it. I can happily tell you that I have done just that! In fact, I've done just that times three!

The trip began with myself at the wheel, so no mobile gaming was possible. Sonic 2 (which celebrated its 17th anniversary yesterday) had to wait until the ride home. Halfway to our destination I stopped at a Wal-Mart for some pickle cash and spotted this:

I'll admit, I don't believe I've ever seen a Sega UFO Catcher in person. It was really quite an experience. Unfortunately time was short, and there were no Eggman plushies to be won inside, so I snapped this photo and left. I have to say, though, that the UFO Catchers are quite eye... catching. Much more sleek than the crappy prize grabbers one finds in most arcades.

Upon arriving at our destination, my girlfriend's aunt's home, we settled in and got ourselfs drinks. I went to the cupboard to get a glass and look who should appear:

A GameWorks glass! I asked where they got it, and my gf's aunt told me that they picked it up at a GameWorks in Michigan. She described this awesome game they used to play involving seats that would raise and fall based on how well you shot at targets. Ah, GameWorks, I miss you.

The next day we piled in a van and headed to Pickle Fest. A bunch of non-Sega related things happened and then I saw him:

To the untrained eye, this is a kid in a pickle suit. But to the eye that has brains, this is a Saturn star of old! Don't know who it is?

It's Deku of Fighters Megamix fame! Originally a cactus, Deku has since picked up odd-jobs playing green cylindrical objects. With a few dimples drawn on, Deku really does make a great pickle. Despite not appearing in a game for years, Deku seemed quite jovial and enjoyed this freelance gig.

Our trip continued and remained Sega-free for the most part. I played a bit of Sonic 2 on the ride home and then gave my Saturn a loving tap before heading to bed. Overall, it wasn't the biggest day I couldv'e given the Saturn, but it wasn't all bad. I met a Saturn celebrity and wrote an article about it.

I also took this photo for Father Krishna:

Spot the fried object of FK's desire

Friday, November 20, 2009

Twice the Monkeys, Double the Balls

Sega has recently announced that they will be releasing Super Monkey Ball 2 for the iPhone and iPod Touch just in time for the holidays. The first iPhone release was a hugely successful Apple App Store launch title, and the sequel looks to improve on many things that the first game lacked. For starters, thos who gave the game a roll have stated that turning is MUCH easier. Sega also promises mini-games, such as bowling. By 2010, free updates will bring golf and target mini-games. Outside of the mini-games, the sequel will offer 115 levels and local wi-fi multiplayer. While a price has not been announced yet, my guess is $9.99 just as the original was.

Check out this video from TouchArcade:

[source: TouchArcade]

In non-mobile news, I had recently posted a drawing of Sonic, that I had done on the back of a notepad, to the SonicStadium message boards. One member, Tizo Teh Hedgie, was kind enough to do a quick coloring of the drawing. Check it out:

Old skool 4 life

Monday, November 16, 2009

Classics and Kiwis Go Mobile

While I try not to write about DS or PSP releases, as I don't have either portable, I thought this was quite an interesting find. Discovered by TSSZ, the British Board of Film Classification has recently rated a Sega game titled "Sonic Classic Collection". The collection looks to be a Sonic Jam-like compilation featuring Sonic 1-3 & Knuckles plus a bit of bonus materials. While some Sega fans are squabbling as to what platform it will be released on, a quick rundown of the game's content gives a massive hint. Take a look at the listing here or read below:

Obviously a next gen system isn't going to have a video preview of Sonic Chronicles, a Nintendo DS game, so it's pretty clear that Sonic's Genesis games are heading to the DS. While Sonic 1-3 & Knuckles may not be a beefy compilation, especially when compared to the PSP's Sega Genesis Collection, it still is a solid collection of games chronicling the early half of Sonic's adventures. If perfect emulation is achieved then this is definitly a Sonic compilation to look out for.

In other portable news, Prope has released their first Sega-free game! Unfortunately, what looks to be one of Prope's better mobile offerings has no Sega affiliation so it really has no place at a mobile Sega gaming blog. However, I have a soft spot for kiwi birds so I'll cut them some slack.

Ivy the Kiwi, developed for the Windows Phone platform, takes advantage of the pen stylus to create a Lemmings sort of game featuring a wayward kiwi bird that runs across leafy vines drawn by the player. While the game looks pretty sweet, it's unfortunate that Sega did not get behind it for a iPhone and/or DS release. From what I've read, Windows Phone does not require a publisher for games distribution, so it isn't so much that Sega turned down distribution of the game than it is that Sega was not required for the game's release on Windows Phone.

Despite the lack of Sega name, the game looks pretty sweet and I hope to play it someday. Have you played Ivy the Kiwi? Let me know in the comments section!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Game Gear Commercials - IN COLOR!

At the Nomad Junkyard, the Nomad reigns supreme. However, in the world of mobile Sega gaming the Game Gear is the true number one. The Game Gear trumps the Nomad in almost every field (save for graphics and sound), with a number of awesome print ads and television adverts. Let's take a look at some of the most memorable Game Gear ads that ran in the US.

"Creamed Spinach Color" says it all. The number one reason I never owned a Game Boy. Sure the Virtual Boy gets a lot of flack for the eye trauma enducing red graphics, but for me the green Game Boy screen was worse. Thankfully the Game Gear came along to save us:

The fat guy from My Name Is Earl stars in this classic. Why beat yourself with a dead squirrel when you can just buy a Game Gear?

In today's world of flight restrictions, the following situation would be impossible. Again, the Game Gear saves the day. However, this would make an excellent Nomad commercial as the man truly wants to play Genesis games on the go. Guess it wasn't 1995 yet.

To conclude, I present a .gif gift from me to all of you. May it haunt your dreams.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sega Fan Sites Graphed

click to enlarge

In my morning routine of checking up on the Sega fan sites I frequent, the idea came to me to graph my "canon" of Sega fan sites. As you can see, it is all laid out above. I avoided sites that cover more than Sega, such as Racketboy, and defunct sites, such as Dave's Sega Saturn Page. Interesting to note that a SG-1000 blog does not exist (to my knowledge) and that there has yet to be a 32X Junkyard. I've been considering adopting the 32X into the Nomad Junkyard, making the NJY not only a portable Sega gaming blog, but also a home to battered Sega systems. With that in mind, I should also consider adopting the Pico.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gen Mobile Sports Genesis Logo

...thus making it the better of the two Genesis clones on the market.

Okay, so there is more to it than that. While the Gen Mobile has a smaller screen that the RetroGen, the Gen Mobile has 20 built in games which saves you from carrying about tons of cartridges. Unfortunatly both have the same sound issues. Check out this new preview video:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kids Love Their Didj!

Well, I'm only assuming they love it, they could possibly hate it. While shopping for a new coffee maker yesterday, I ran across LeapFrog's Didj handheld. Didj, pronounced "dij" as in the first half of "digital", is touted as a Custon Gaming System for children 5-10 years old. As it is developed by LeapFrog, it is also a covert teaching tool. Thankfully, unlike the Pico the Didj games actually look like fun.

The Didj game that attracted my attention was Sonic the Hedgehog. As recent years have taught us, naming a game Sonic the Hedgehog does not necessarily mean that it will be a straight port of 1991's Sonic the Hedgehog. As Didj is a learning tool, I was skeptical of this being a port so I checked out the box and played a demo.

The box itself is rather cool. New school Sonic holding a ring (what is this, Chaotix?) with a drawing of Green Hill in the background. Nothing eye popping, but at least some effort was put in to make it look more than a piece of stock art on a white background. The game itself is rather interesting. Sort of a mashup of Sonic 1-3 featuring 3D Sonic moves (homing attack and wall jump) and a remix of the Mushroom Hill Zone theme. From what I can tell, each stage features gadgets that must be destroyed, similar to hunting down and destroying machines in Sonic CD. In the Didj Sonic, gadgets are word games featuring cannons, badniks gears and other devices that are controlled to fill in the blanks of words. While the game is pretty elementary (it IS for 7-10 year olds) it's rather fun. Think of it as Typing of the Dead meets Sonic the Hedgehog. If you have a little one, or must own every Sonic game ever made, both the handheld and game only cost $55 total.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Fortress of Segatude

Okay, so its a bit of a lofty title for a small entertainment room, but its a fitting title (as you'll soon see). Since moving into our apartment a year ago, I've been slowly building up our second bedroom which was to be the computer room. One month I'd buy a shelf and a lamp, another month I'd buy some curtains and a TV stand. As time went on it grew to be a room for computer use, gaming, a DVD library and lite television watching. Let's enter the roo- er, I mean The Fortress of Segatude!

The TV, topped with Crow T. Robot, features one of my Sonic animation cels above it. I figure I'll rotate between the three cels that I have, one can't look at a half-baked Tails forever.

The heart and soul of the room, featuring Sonic who invites you to play a game. I've just recently purchased the 32X and played Star Wars Arcade on it. Amazing graphics and sound for a souped-up Genesis!

I've had this plastic storage cart since I was ten. It's perfect for the Genesis, leading me to believe it was made with the Genesis in mind. The cart holds up to 32 Genesis boxes while the upper lid is intended to hold a Model 1 or 2 Genesis. Since I have the Genesis/CD/32X monster, I had to sit it on top. The inner lid now holds the Nomad (hey, the star of this blog!), the Game Gear and the controllers.

The Men in Black themselves!

Beneath the TV are the duplicate consoles to the ones that are in the living room. This way, if the living room TV is taken I can easily play a game of Pen Pen on the clear Dreamcast. Also, having the original XBOX is the only way to play the awesome Gunvalkyrie.

At the top of the game's shelf are my Dreamcast magazines and strategy guides, my boxed Beat action figure (only $15. Thanks, ebay!), some anime and Pixar DVDs and some good ol' fashioned Sega games.

Moving up the Sega timeline are my Dreamcast games. Shenmue II not pictured :(

At the bottom are the once competition. You'll note I own Final Fantasy 7, yet I have never played it. Guess I was too busy with Tenchu 2.

On the opposite side of the room is the reason why I named the joint "The Fortress of Segatude". Admittedly, I'm not a huge Superman fan. However I did own all the movie posters, thanks to a mail-away offer included in the Superman DVD set, so I chose to frame the goofiest of the four posters. I find the "Superman III" poster inspirational, as no matter how stupid the idea was to have Superman carrying Richard Pryor, they made it happen. Proof that anything is possible.

Don't worry, I've put the better "Superman II" poster next to it. While I'm at it, why not move into the living room.

Here's the real gaming setup! The Dreamcast seen above is my Japanese model bought several months ago. It wasn't until last week that I discovered it had been chipped! Seems the ebay seller failed to mention that in the description. Now I can play any game without the need of a boot disc.

The left drawer holds all the Dreamcast accessories. It's like an orgy in there.

Things are a little more tidy in the other drawer. Beneath the stunner is my homemade Segagaga walkthrough book.

So thats the gaming setup for the time being. Geez, now I have to start actually playing the games!