I'll try to be a bit more active soon but in the meantime here's a picture of what I'm trying to fit in my suitcase.
While I'm sure nobody is interested in my personal life, I just wanted to reassure anyone dropping in that despite inactivity on the blog side of things I'm still uploading reviews in between being rather busy moving continents (by plane that is, not in some weird populous-esqe superpower way)!
I'll try to be a bit more active soon but in the meantime here's a picture of what I'm trying to fit in my suitcase.
Well, this is odd.
After an extremely convoluted process involving annoying Ebay chicanery and private correspondence I finally managed to get a hold of Volume 5 of the GameKing's surprisingly voluminous series of 4-in-1 carts (as well as a couple of other single carts I was missing). I won't bore you with the details but I must express my complete discombobulation with the method of packing chosen by the said seller.
Take a look at the picture below:
If you looked at that and thought "That appears to be a Super Famicom game box covered in cheap brown masking tape!" then congratulations, you win today's star prize!
Yes, this seller, who likes to bid on his own ebay auctions to discover their top value, then PM you with a "spare" that he amazingly found for a private sale, also can't be bothered to buy a box or envelope to send things in so just cannibalizes existing game boxes to do the job!
Determined to try and salvage the box for the sake of classic gaming prosperity I began to unpeel.
These suckers are durable! incredibly I was able to peel the tape of this box with minimal tearing or destruction only to flip it over and find that...
...the silly bugger had cut it open with scissors! That makes sense...that totally makes sense for a guy who uses Super Famicom boxes covered in masking tape to post GameKing games. That's not all though.
He also used the plastic inner tray to secure the games with more of his favourite masking tape!
Well, at least the GameKing games themselves were in mint condition.
I know that some people will say "so what?" to this. I know that others will point out that the box is for a game that commands a very low sum on ebay itself (JRPG, Sansara Naga 2) but it really does bother me to see a classic game box receive this treatment.
There are many explanations for why the seller might have done this. Perhaps he thinks it is cool for retro games to arrive inside a retro game box. What isn't cool is covering that game box with sticky tape that might permanently damage it. Cutting it apart with scissors seemingly just for the sake of it is even less cool. At least that's my view.
I'd like to here what people think about this. For me I hope it isn't a sign of a trend. One of the reason's that I collect for gameking is out of interest of cataloguing and game preservation in general, so it kills me to see someone using a 20-odd year old game box (even for a common game) as the mere equivalent of wrapping paper.
Let me know your thoughts below. Meanwhile I'll be uploading some new Gameking reviews this week.
I've been a bit busy of late so haven't uploaded much new content in a while but a couple of things just dropped through the door, here on Obsolete Island.
The first was the latest version of the Neo Geo Pocket Flashmasta (now with a USB cable). I've posted a full review of it over at The Off Licence and you can read it buy clicking on this link.
Secondly I managed to acquire a second Gamate handheld for the bargain price of just 30 Euros. For some reason it was listed as "not working" on Ebay but what this actually meant was that it simply missing one of it's battery covers! I'm happy to report that it works perfectly, although I can't tell if it has the "good" or "bad" screen from the picture you get without a cart. Perhaps someone can enlighten me by looking at the picture below. (The "new" Gamate) is the one on the bottom.
Sadly, all my research leads me to conclude that the planned link-up cable was never officially released and so I most likely won't be able to experience the joy of linking two Gamates together any time soon.
The system also came with a new game that I'll be reviewing shortly over at the Gamate section of the site. It is 'Brick Blaster' an Arkanoid style bat and baller with weird characters popping up like this giant urinating wolf!
The Megaduck section of the website continues to be updated with new reviews of Ant Soldiers, Pile Wonder, Bomb Disposer, Vex and The Brick Wall all uploaded recently and reviews of Railway and Duck Adventures coming soon.
I'm also looking to update the Extra Life section of the website with a feature looking at Bandai Wonderswan games that make the console a worthwhile purchase for Westerners.
As a little teaser check out the screenshots below that note a little discovery I made while fiddling about with my Swan Crystal; a fully functioning horizontal shooter hidden away in the Japanese menu for turn based strategy game Uchuu Senkan Yamato.
It won't be giving Gradius a run for it's money any time soon but it's a perfectly playable effort that's all the more interesting for being a free extra that most non-Japanese speakers are completely oblivious to the existence of! Ironically, The game is one of the cheapest Wonderswan games on Ebay right now, probably due to the main game being so text heavy. Fortunately the language of the #shmup is universal!
We've finally posted our exhaustive look at the Timetop LTPS Handy Game!
This failed successor to the GameKing is an interesting historical piece, even if it is rather terrible.
The full system review can now be found in The Off License by clicking on this link.
In other news I'm on holiday so regular reviews should start to pick up again shortly!
I've also acquired another GameKing 4-1 cart and am possibly on the trail of a second so the quest to comprehensively locate and review all GameKing titles remains on track!
Right, apologies for the lack of updates and general radio silence this past month. No cause for concern other than being incredibly busy.
To put that right with immediate effect, we've added six new reviews to The Forgotten Abbey, one for the newly acquired Game.com and five for the GameKing! We've also added a hardware review for a little handheld I picked up a short while ago: the VG Pocket Mini.
In other exciting handheld news, I've also been able to track down another offering from our friends at Timetop. This time it isn't a GameKing variant but instead their attempt to expand into handheld Famiclones with the LTPS Handygame (not to be confused with the confusingly similarly named PCP Station).
Sadly, the seller appears to have lost the cartridges that came with it/were sold separately, so we'll be stuck with the built in games. Let's hope they are better than the ones that came with the VG Pocket! I'll be very disappointed in Timetop if at least one of them isn't a Super Mario rip-off featuring a mouse with 'Risk' in the title.
Anyway, expect a review/breakdown in the The Off Licence once it arrives on Obsolete Island for inspection.
Until then, keep checking back for updates and remember to follow us on Twitter @obsoleteworlds or leave comments about anything you'd like to see covered. We do like a good old chit-chat about tat!
The welcome sight of the postman lugging an over-sized parcel can mean only one thing:
The notorious Tiger Game Com has finally arrived to join its forgotten brethren here on Obsolete Island!
Speaking frankly, initial impressions are far from the horror show we were expecting from this universally panned device, while we currently only have two relatively simple games to play on it (plus the built in Solitaire) the screen, as usual, isn't nearly as bad to the naked eye as is made out in the videos of most youtubers and all three games are reasonably enjoyable, if unlikely to set the world on fire....which, of course, they didn't.
Once we get hold of some games that actually require scrolling and/or fast moving sprites that opinion may well change, but, for now, we're curious to explore and review the 20 available titles that the system offers.To that end, the Game Com now has its own dedicated page over at The Forgotten Abbey. With no truly rare or overly expensive titles available for it, we look forward to categorizing and reviewing the entire library over the coming months.
Speaking of reviews, the Supervision, GameKing and Gamate sections of the site have all had new reviews added to them in the past few weeks. Don't forget to follow @Obsoleteworlds on Twitter for updates each time we add something new to the website.
As always, thanks for reading and following our adventures in Obsolete Worlds.
As you may have seen, here at Obsolete Worlds we are big fans of the Timetop Gameking. The little low-res handheld that somehow managed to exist in a time when most people were enjoying the graphical delights of the PSP!
So when we saw this appear on ebay, we had to investigate. It arrived on Obsolete Island via Spain this week, sadly a little worse for wear and with broken parts rattling around inside it. After some tinkering we finally got it working again and now have to ask one question.
What on earth is this?
Firstly let's address what it isn't. It isn't a Gameking. In fact it seems to be something similar to the 45-in-1 Game Player (YD-G202) that we reviewed in the The Off Licence. It doesn't play Gameking games and doesn't appear to be manufactured by Timetop. Yet the case font and overall layout are clearly trying to invoke the Gameking II as seen by this side by side below. Note also the similarities in button layout the curve of the external speaker.
Like the Gameking II it also comes with one of those idiotic colour backgrounds (annoyingly glued in place here, unlike the GKII's removable lense). Although the screen is much bigger allowing for much larger and more detailed sprites. It also retains the backlight function of the GKII with a switch allowing you to power on the system with or without the backlight. It also takes the same number of batteries as a GKII (3 AAA's).
Unlike the Gameking II, cartridges are inserted into a slot in the left, although there appears to be some doubt over whether or not they actually contain any data or are simply triggering something built into the system's internal memory, as with many of the gimmicky methods used in YD Company's similar handhelds.
Anyway, let's have a look at what we found inside, shall we?
Here you can see how the 'cartridge', when inserted, touches some contacts and prompts the system to load the game 'Bomber'. Annoyingly, despite the system having '4-in-1' on it, in an inaccurate attempt to copy the Gameking's '3-in-1' tagline, there appears to be no way of accessing these games (of which there actually appear to be five) without the relevant cartridge being inserted. More on that in a moment.
After removing more screws, here's what we found under the hood (including the full code name of the product), if anyone can translate those Chinese characters to reveal the manufacturer name then that would be of particular interest.
Now let's look at what the system actually does.
Booting it up with no game inserted brings up the legend 'Multigame © JDRIGHT, which is interesting since it suggests a western designer. You then get this image of a completely different device, suggesting that the software running on this may not be exclusive to this machine.
Further evidence that the games in question are probably built into the unit rather than the 'cartridges' comes in the appearance of five little icons at the top of the screen: A jet plane, some blocks, a man with a gun, a race-car and finally the same 'Bomber' found on our cartridge.
Oddly there are slots for both 1 and 2 players as well as some screen rot that we might be able to remove with the old soldering iron trick. The 2 player mode might explain this port being on the back of the console:
We're not sure what this port is for. Could it be an external power adapter or a 2 player link up cable?
Anyway, from the menu screen you can adjust contrast and volume with the relevant buttons on the face of the device.
Next step: playing a game on it!
Perhaps it was due to the piece of loose plastic we found rattling about inside it, but inserting the cartridge was a precarious job. Pushing it too far in meant it got stuck inside the unit so we had to gauge carefully where it should be resting. On doing so, the game loaded up 'Bomber' and, in fact, we discovered that the cart can be plugged in while the system is turned on, further suggesting that the games are merely being booted by the cart triggering some contacts. Presumably the system retailed with five such carts and the seller simply lost the others. This is annoying as it means that the other four built in games are permanently locked off, despite them almost certainly being present in the system memory.
And Bomber? Well, it's a Bomberman clone isn't it. Quite a primitive one, very similar in style to the Gameking games 'Popper' and 'Miner'. The sound effects and some of the graphics definitely feel familiar to seasoned Gameking veterans.
One of the most fascinating thing about the GameKing to us is the number of questions it asks.
Why manufacture such a technologically inferior system in the era of the PSP? Who made and coded the near 80 titles available for it? Why did Timetop keep releasing so many iterations of it? Who was buying them all?
Now, with the discovery of this odd clone, we have a new riddle to solve. Why was anyone attempting to clone one?
If anyone can help us solve this mystery then we'd love to read your thoughts.
Big thanks to reader 'BossHogg' who contacted me over the sad disintegration of my Megaduck's screen and offered to not only sell me a replacement for very good community rates but also supplied me with a working copy of 'Trap and Turn'.
This means that: (a) Megaduck reviews can now continue and (b) we only need to find 4 more carts to complete the entire set!
It's always nice when the community helps out in this way, especially for a site like this one that aims to provide a resource for these obscure devices.
Well, that's a lot of GameKing games isn't it? 24 of the buggers to be precise! Most of which, I don't already own in some form.
These 4-in-1 carts arrived from Spain earlier in the week and have now given us an incredible backlog to work through for the GameKing section of the website. More importantly though, it now means we are up to 63/90 in terms of obtaining all of the known GameKing games we've been able to confirm exist and another step closer to our goal of reviewing every single GameKing game released.
In other news, the cry for help we put out for a new Megaduck console has been nobly answered and a replacement Duck is winging (groan if you will) its way to Obsolete Island as we speak. Thanks very much to the folks at Racketboy and the user 'BossHogg' for not only offering me a replacement unit but doing so at reasonable community rates! Top Guy!
I've added two new reviews in the meantime: Suleiman's Treasure for the Megaduck and Cyclone Action for the GameKing.
Due to the ever increasing number of reviews in The Forgotten Abbey, I'll be making some changes to the way they are displayed shortly, probably by alphabetizing them all and breaking the reviews down to individual pages so that you can find them more easily.
Well, that's all for this update. Happy Gaming and thanks for reading and being awesome.
The Banyan Tree
This is where we'll post news, opinion, gaming pick-ups and updates regarding the website and the world of Obsolete gaming in general.