The Bandai Datach Joint ROM System is an add-on for the Nintendo Famicom. It plugs right into the cartridge slot and comes with its own small cartridges. The games are enhanced with barcode cards, similar to the Mattel HyperScan.
The retail package with one included game, Dragon Ball Z: Gekitō Tenkaichi Budokai, is rather easy and cheap to obtain.
Have you ever wondered how to play (and win!) one of those numerous Mahjong games that exist on almost every game console? I’m not talking about the in the West well-known matching game but about the real Chinese or Japanese Mahjong, usually played by four players. If you are not familiar with the Japanese language or characters, winning is almost impossible because not many translated games exist. I’ve found two games so far that taught me how to play (and win) in a couple of weeks:
Last year I was tempted to import an expensive and rare official ASCII / Sammy Keyboard Controller for the GameCube, but I’ve found a way cheaper alternative for now: the ebest e-Keyboard Converter for PC/PS2/GC/XBOX. It costs approximately 1-5 EUR and connects a standard PS/2 keyboard to a PC and PlayStation 2 (via USB), GameCube and Xbox (via proprietary connectors). Continue reading Connecting a Keyboard to a GameCube→
The Mattel HyperScan was a short-lived console in 2006. It had an interesting concept though, to enhance classic video games with collectible RFID cards. This concept was later picked up in a similar form by the Skylanders games and Nintendo’s Amiibo.
Playing the games (and scanning cards) can be described as more interesting than fun. The games seem unfinished and buggy. And then there are the long loading times, a problem that already the NeoGeo CD suffered from back in the days.
There were even some first steps with homebrew programs here and here.
In the 80s, Sharp made some interesting devices powered by the Nintendo Famicom/NES technology. The less well-known devices are the Famicom Titler, a video subtitler, and the C1 NES TV/Sharp Nintendo Television, a television set. More common is the Twin Famicom, a console that plays Famicom cartridges, Famicom Disk System Disk Cards and NES cartridges (with a 72-to-60-pin adapter).
For connecting the GameCube to a PSO server I chose the game Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II (US), two flavors were available, v1.01 and die Plus version, both have bugfixes or new features and are superior to the PAL version. In addition most NTSC games can be played in 480p progressive scan mode (hold B when booting the game). There is a High Definition Game Database that lists all video/audio/online features of most games of the last console generation.
Unfortunately US games hate it when PAL save states are on the memory card, you can’t start playing and get stuck in a loop in the settings menu. PSO has at least four save states that are protected and can neither be copied nor moved to another memory card. To play online with my Hunter character of the last decade, I decided to try it with the PAL PSO game. Sadly my character wasn’t there anymore, just a dummy that was used to connect to the disc server. Continue reading Playing Phantasy Star / GameCube Online→
Yesterday I erased my Dreamcast’s flash memory, hoping to get past the serial number prompt.
Today I dug my Dreamcast keyboard out of the basement to get things done faster. It’s an ugly grey PC style PAL-DE keyboard (HKT-7632) that reminds me every time I see it that a new, preferably JP HKT-4000, has to be bought soon…
While browsing the numerous bookmarks I’ve collected over the years I came across an interesting site about a still running private Phantasy Star Online server (SCHTHACK). The instructions seemed easy, so why not try to play that game with a Dreamcast or GameCube?
Back in the days I never played PSO online with my Dreamcast because the Broadband Adapter was impossible to obtain and the included modem was no use when connected via DSL. On the GameCube I played PSO offline a lot, but never obtained a Hunter’s License. Besides playing with it, PSO for the GameCube had an important bug that allowed loading and playing the first batch of pirated games via Ethernet, long before the first modchips surfaced, but that’s another Story… Continue reading Playing Phantasy Star / Dreamcast Online Today→
exploring retro game consoles and other technology