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!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Barry's Blog Roundup


Regular NJY readers may be wondering, "Barry, where are the posts?". Well, firstly, I spoil you all with two postings a week (but thats because I love you). Secondly, I've become made a member of the Dreamcast Junkyard writing team, so I've been busy taking photos of my collection. I've also been busy with collection post at The Saturn Junkyard as well as an assortment of Sonic merch at Sega Memories. Lastly, I've been busy with a secret project that I wish I could share, but I can't. I can tell you that it is not Sega or gaming related, it has to do with design and it involves me working with a major cable television channel. ;)

Here's what I've been busy with at the other blogs:

I'm Thinking.
My introductory article at The Dreamcast Junkyard in which I share my history with the system and photos of my collection.

Barry the Nomad's Saturn Collection
Exactly what it sounds like. Photos of my humble, but fun-filled, Saturn collection. Mmm... mint Burning Rangers...

Sonic's Mystery Box
When my parents visited two weeks ago, thy brought with them a box of random items from my Sonic collection. Take a peek inside the mystery box... if you dare!

Nomad articles to come!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy 10th Anniversary PAL Dreamcast!

Yesterday the blue swirl turned 10! Cheers n' all that, mates!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

RetroGen and GenMobile User Reviews

While I've been happily playing my Sega Nomad which recently has returned to me (thanks Mom and Dad!), others have been receiving their RetroGen and GenMobile handhelds and have written or taped reviews. Rather than scour the internets and the Google to find these, I've conveniently linked and posted them here for you Sega fans. Are these the Nomad killers we've been waiting for? Or simply the Nomad's smaller dumber cousins? I'll give my opinion after the reviews.

The first RetroGen review comes from The Coolinator, you can read the full review at his blog. Here are some snippets:

The device itself is incredibly light and well made. The screen is a good size, it's not as big as it appears on the box or in pictures, but its a solid 2.8". The buttons are nice. It takes a little while to get used to them because they are set at an angle but they get the job done.

The only thing that isn't too good about it is the D-Pad which surprised the hell out of me because the D-Pad on the Retrogen "looked" a whole lot better then the GenMobiles one.

Next is a YouTube review of the RetroGen from EddieJ1984:

QuickSciFi created this two part review:

Finally we have a review of the GenMobile:


DDRGame|MySpace Videos

So there you have it! Both portables have been released and are receiving fairly positive reviews. What do I think? Maybe it's the cranky old man in me, but I'm not impressed. Sure the screen quality is great and the battery is awesome, but the control scheme, screen size and especially SOUND are all nothing compared to the Nomad. The Nomad even has the extra advantage of having a second control port. Sure, the Nomad has a short battery life, but batteries have improved greatly since 1995. Batteries exist that have nearly twice the juice as old batteries, and with rechargeable batteries you don't have to repurchase at every draining.

My final word: If you need to play Genesis games on the go, and aren't afraid to look like a dork, stick with your Nomad. If you are Nomad-less, don't care about sound quality and want to look cool, buy a GenMobile. The GenMobile controls seem to beat the RetroGen, and the built-in games save you the trouble of carrying a bunch of carts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nomad Does What RetroGen Don't

The often delayed and soon to be released "Nomad 2", the RetroGen, seems to deliver in every department... except for the audio. According to this direct feed footage, the RetroGen chews up lovely Genesis music and spits out a fuzzy garbled mess.

While I have yet to write the RetroGen off as a failure, this does not bode well. I'd take bulkiness and limited battery life if it meant quality stereo sound.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Dreamcast Party Isn't Over Yet!

You may be puzzled as to why the 10th Anniversary image has returned and turned blue. No, the swirl is not holding its breath, it's the European Dreamcast logo!

October 14, 1999 saw the release of the Dreamcast to Europe and Australia. Why was the logo blue? Well, this was done to avoid copyright complications with a video game/DVD publisher named Tivola, which already used an Orange swirl as their logo. Maybe it was meant to happen, as the blue swirl has since defined a different Dreamcast territory with fans who feel as much love for the blue swirl as Americans feel towards the red swirl. The name "Blue Swirl" even became the name of one of the best VMU resources on the internet.

While I'll leave the proper tributes and historical recollections to real European Dreamcast fans, I did want to share some PAL Dreamcast games that American Dreamcast fans didn't receive, but should definitely import.

Shenmue II
While Americans were crying over the exclusive deal that Sega had made with Microsoft, effectively delaying the US release of part 2 for a year, Europeans were basking in the glory of this game. I remember importing this within a month of the release and feeling so elite, or 1337 as the kids used to say.

Jet Set Radio
Yeah, its almost the exact same game as the American release but the small differences make this a must for any JSR fan. For starters, this is the only english-language version of Jet Set Radio. In fact, this is the only version of the game to open with the proper english logo. Secondly, many of the US exclusive tracks were switched up with with much more fitting funky beats. I'll take "Recipe for the Perfect Afro" over "just Got Wicked" anyday. Finally, some of the exclusive US graffiti has been switched out for band logos and images of the UK contributors.

Like Shenmue II, Headhunter never hit the states as it was reserved for the PS2. I'll admit, the PS2 version looks better, especially the video cutscenes, but there is something special about playing a game on the Dreamcast.

Again, a Dreamcast game that was cancelled for a US PS2 release. While the Japanese version is the same game, the PAL version is just as good. Get whichever region you find for the lowest price.

Evil Twin
A mysterious game that I know little about. The star looks a bit like Chucky from the Child's Play films. I remember seing screens of this before it went MIA in the States. It did, however, see a PAL release and had decent reviews online.

EDIT: Cosmic Smash removed per Gagaman's comment. Shame it never made it to Europe!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Share Your Nomad

In a celebratory post at Racketboy I asked other members to share photos and memories of the Nomad. Let's see what they had to share, shall we?

Member Thierry Henry has an impressive two Nomads. I always loved that the Maximum Carnage cart was red, rare to see a Genesis cartridge in a color other than black. Thierry Henry had this to say: I've also got custom made carry cases for both, the only thing I still need is to get a battery pack for the unit to the left of the pic. It works fine off of the AC adapter but then that's not the point of a portable system.

Member aw93053 displayed his Nomad in a ray of sunshine, just as the Nomad is a ray of sunshine in all our lives.

I've got two Nomads that I've had since I was a kid, I freaking loved to play Bloodlines on airplanes. My brother and I got into an argument once and he threw one to the floor. Now I have one Nomad and one Nomad with a cracked screen.

Dakinggamer87 said: I just recently got a Sega Nomad earlier this year to add to my systems collection and it is a fun portable system. I played it years ago but never owned one till now. Happy 14th Anniversary Sega Nomad!!

I remember I had the official Nomad carry case. I have never seen one of those again. It had the Nomad logo stitched in the side and fit the system, battery pack and a few games.

I regrettably sold mine a few years back. Had some good times with it. In the final weeks of owning, I spent most of the time listening to all the BGM with headphones cause I felt the sound chip was so good and so clear.

, theres always more Nomads in the sea. Thanks for the memories and photos!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy 14th Birthday Sega Nomad!

In October, 1995, the US retail chain Toys R Us unleashed the most amazing portable gaming system in the world: the Sega Nomad.

Okay, it wasn't the greatest gaming system ever. It had a poor battery life and was roughly the size of a Disney VHS case (you know, the puffy white plastic ones). Despite some downfalls, it was and still is an awesome portable. No other official portable can play original home console games, and even recent Nomad imitators fail to offer all the features of the Sega Nomad. No other portable Genesis has a control port for 2-player gaming.

In celebration of the Sega Nomad's 14th anniversary I will be providing a variety of Nomad related articles here at the 'yard. Expect top ten lists, memories, speculation and, most exciting of all, a Nomad hardware review! Yes, that's right, the stack of Sega games and consoles that I always talk about being at my parent's house will be coming to their true home in just a week.

Happy birthday, little guy!