The Sega Genesis 32X Wasn’t Just a Gimmick

SegaGenesis_32X_HdrMany gamers, me included, have fond memories of Sega at its prime – they were ready to knock Nintendo off of its pedestal. The Sega Genesis, in all of its 16-bit glory, took home gaming to an entirely new level. The colors were more varied and vivid, the music was better, and the worlds that we visited were more realistic. That’s not to say that I didn’t love my NES, but my Sega held a special place in my heart.

Nintendo didn’t just sit around and let Sega have all of the 16-bit fun, and soon, the Super Nintendo was looking to dominate the home video game market. Maybe this was the reason why Sega felt like they needed to improve upon the Genesis, by adding peripherals and add-ons like the Sega CD and 32X.

While I never was a big fan of the CD add-on, I did enjoy the 32X addition to my Genesis. It basically plugged into the cartridge slot, and into the back of the system, essentially doubling the output of the unit. The 32X promised better sound, especially through a premium Selby home theater surround sound system, brighter colors and ushered in true three-dimensional gaming to the masses.

I wasn’t sure about the add-on at first until I happened to see a demo at my local mall for the fighting game Virtua Fighter. It was a 3D fighter with fully articulated fighters on a 3D field. The camera rotated around the fighters and the polygonal figures on the screen moved so realistically. I was so gobsmacked, I knew I had to buy the system immediately.

32x_VFsource: Wikipedia

Now, the ultimate promise that Virtua Fighter made on the fledgling system never really materialized. It was probably the best game on the system and although there were other good games such as Mortal Kombat 2, Star Wars Arcade, and the Sonic and Knuckles games, there were many other games that weren’t much more than pretty ports of the original game, but ultimately the best version of the game.

Even though the system was not very successful and ultimately only 30 or so games were released, it had a lot going for it and was a stepping stone towards the games we enjoy today. You have to hand it to Sega for having the guts to give this thing the green light in the first place. It offered near perfect arcade ports of games that were unbelievable at the time and affordable to most people as well.

Nowadays the system is mostly for collectors, but some of these games are still pretty fun to play, even 20 years after their release, such as Virtua Racing, NBA Jam and Space Harrier. With more third party support, the 32X might have been considered a classic today with a huge library of games…unfortunately, it has become just a footnote in the history of gaming, much like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy…my eyes and head hurt just thinking about that thing.

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Selby_logoMatt Thames
Blogger and Brand Manager at Selby Acoustics.

 

 

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Home Sweet Retrogaming Home

cross stich 2(Image source: The Baxter’s)

There’s no place like home, especially if it is a retrogaming home!

Space Invaders House
space invaders house(via Desire To Inspire)

Space Invaders In The Shower
space_invaders_bathroom_tiles(by Lillian1810 on DeviantArt)

Space Invaders Mosaic – Rocket Restaurant
Rocket Restaurant(via VITROGRES Mosaic on Pinterest & ‏@PaulWallCovs on Twitter)

DIY Pac-Man Tiled Desk
pacman-tile-mosaic-desk(by pameroth on Instructables via Gamer Wife)

More Mosaic Masterpieces!
mental floss
(via Mental_Floss)

Super Mario Bathroom
mario(via Nerd Approved)

Space Invaders Toilet Paper Holder
space-invaders-toilet-paper-holder(via Geekologie)

Donkey Kong Wall Shelf
donkey-kong-wall-shelves-1(by Igor Chak via Bit Rebels)

Retro Invader Couch
retro invader couch(via Apartment Therapy)

Homemade Sega Master System Couch
sega master system couch
(by Subby kun)

Tetris Shelves
tetris shelves(via Apartment Therapy)

NES Coffee Table
NES table(via Geekologie)

Retro Rugs
rugs 2(via Geek Art Gallery & VVORK)

Arcade Coat Rack
Coat Rack(Liberty Games via Complex)

Pac-Man Ghost Bookshelf
pac-man shelf(LightYourselfUp via Complex)

Pac-Mac Coffee Table
pac man coffee table(Destructoid via Complex)

Super Mario Filing Cabinets
mario filing cabinets(by nintentofu on DeviantArt via Complex)

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Operation: Atari Lynx LCD Mod

Should we allow our retro gaming gear to age gracefully, or do we do what everyone does in Hollywood, go under the surgeon’s scalpel in the hope of looking better? In this instance, having an Atari Lynx II upgraded with McWill’s LCD modification (with VGA out) was an easy choice. This surgical transplant was well worth sacrificing one Atari Lynx II out of the many sitting there to be used at ComLynx parties. The only difference being, I would have the best looking screen at the next meet *wink*

In its original form, the Lynx II’s screen isn’t the best, you are constantly angle it or mucking around with the contrast to get that perfect view. With the new LCD, that is all gone! No more mucking around with the contrast knob, and you certainly do not have to angle the Lynx II to get a better vantage point. The new screen is super sharp, able to be viewed clearly at 180 degrees! Not only that, you can also play your Lynx II on the big screen via the VGA out interface! Cor blimey!

Just like any delicate surgical procedure, I left this modification to the expertise of Dr Curlytek. With precision, Dr Curlytek was able to salvage the old screen (to be used as a spare part if need be!) and install the new one without a hitch. The mod isn’t as straight forward as the instructions lead you to believe, so it is best left for those that have steady hands and exquisite soldering skills. So was it all worth it? A photo comparison can’t do the new screen any justice – you have to see it in real life to get an appreciation of its sharpness and vividness! Imagine if Atari had installed these screens originally? Perhaps they would have sold more Lynxes!

A huge thank you to Serblander for sourcing the LCD kit and to the surgeon himself, Stacey “Dr Curlytek” Borg for his exceptional skill in transplanting the new screen into the Atari Lynx II.

The surgeon prepares!
LCD_1_DrC_transplant

Open that sucker!
LCD_4_prep

The Lynx II opened up
LCD_3a_opening_her_up

Out with the old (screen)!
LCD_5a_remove_of_the_old

The new screen awaits its new host
LCD_2_newLCD

The Lynx II patiently waits for its new internal organ
LCD_7_Lynx_waiting_for_new_screen

Read the instructions twice and perform surgery once – great plan!
LCD_8_the_hard_part

The delicate work continues
LCD_6_delicate_op

Additional body part for the Lynx II
LCD_8a_VGA_wiring

The Atari Lynx II in post-operation recovery
LCD_9_done_in_recovery_room

The screen test begins! Wow, looking super sharp!
LCD_11_crystal_clear

Testing the VGA output! Looking good.
LCD_10_VGA_test

Let the Lynx II screen battle begin!
Lynx_war

And the winner is……. Ah, it’s an easy choice
Lynx_head_to_head

Interactive Family Tree Of Retro Controllers

controllers

John Kowalski (Sock Master) has created an awesome interactive retro controller family tree which takes us from Atari 2600 and Intellivision to PS3 and Wii controllers. Click on the pictures in the tree and you will find out key information about each controller – for example, the Atari 2600 controller was first released in 1977 and was sold until about 1991! While the WaveBird is notable for being the first wireless first-party controller.

As Sock Master describes:

‘I’ve put together a chart, or controller family-tree, that tries to connect all the current console controllers with their predecessors… a lot of the information presented here is my opinion. I try to keep things accurate, using facts that I know, but also making some of my own conclusions where no hard evidence is available… 

There are still a number of gaps in the family tree, as a lot of controllers are still missing from the chart. Eventually, I will try to fill in some of the holes. Current things that are missing are controllers I couldn’t get my hands on, controllers from less popular consoles, and most of the 8-bit era.’

Sock Master’s Interactive Retro Controller Family Tree
controller family tree

Source: Sock Master via Geekologie

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

The ‘Konami Code Sites’ Website

konami codeImage source: decibel-design

The Konami Code (Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right B, A, Start) was invented in 1986 by Kazuhisa Hashimoto to help during the development of the NES port of Gradius. Since its creation, the code has appeared in many other games (Konami and non-Konami).

The code also unlocks Easter Eggs on a number of websites. ‘Which ones?’ you ask: well, just enter the code on the ‘Konami Code Sites‘ page and all will be revealed.

website

The list is a little hit and miss, we did not find Easter Eggs on all sites – but that just made it extra exciting when the code did work!

Geek & Hype
geek and hype

Teddy-risation
teddy o ted

GameSpot
gamespot

Soundclick
soundclick

Source: Konami Code – WikipediaKonami Code Sites via Geekologie

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Insert Coin To Play: Geeky Coins And Tokens

coinslot2Image source: CSA

We all love having a pocket full of coins and tokens to feed our arcade addiction, but you may be reluctant to part with these treasures.

Club Nintendo Commemorative Coins:
The Year Of Luigi & Super Mario Bros. 25th Anniversary
luigi mario brosImage source: Nintendo Life & Nintendo Life Forums

Nintendo Power 100th Issue Commemorative Coins
NP100Image source: Ripten

1982 World’s Fair Arcade Tokens
1982 WF tokensImage source: Video Games Memorabilia Museum (Pac-ManDonkey KongMs Pac-Man)

SegaWorld Sydney Token
SegaWorld tokenImage source: Video Games Memorabilia Museum

Time-Out Arcade Tokens
timeoutImage source: Dork Dimension

Chuck E. Cheese Arcade Tokens
chuckecheeseImage source: Dork Dimension

Assorted Arcade Tokens
tokensImage source: Classic Plastic

gametokensImage source: Boing Boing

Pikachu Coin For The Polynesian Nation Of Niue
pikachu coinImage source: Numista

Doctor Who Coins By The Perth Mint Australia
the doctors

monsters TARDIS

Batman & Superman Coins
batman and supermanImage source: Royal Canadian Mint & Royal Canadian Mint

Star Trek Coins For Island Of Tuvalu
star-trek-coinsImage source: The Perth Mint via Geekologie

Star Wars Coins For The Polynesian Nation Of Niue
star wars coinsImage source: New Zealand Mint via Geekologie

World Of Warcraft Coinswow coinsImage source: Amazon (Alliance & Horde)

Coin Paintings by Andre Levy
painted coins - combinedImage source: Tales You Lose via Toxel

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Press Play On Tape: Amiga vs Atari ST

PPOT_ep2_headerBefore the 16-bit Sega and Nintendo console war era, there was the 16-bit computing war in the late 80s between Commodore’s Amiga and Atari’s ST. The war between these two titans was being waged in schoolyards across the world – you were either a diehard Amiga fan or an ST whiz kid.

In episode two of PRESS PLAY ON TAPE, hosts Daz & yours truly, Alex Boz, together with special guest, Matt Cawley, go toe to toe on which computer was best. It’s Amiga vs ST – a battle for the ages! As nostalgic 16-bit blows are traded, we even find time to reflect on the once mighty publisher, Epyx. As Professor Elvin Atombender famously said, “Stay awhile, staaaay FOREVER!”.

press_play_on_tape_podbean_header

If you like PRESS PLAY ON TAPE on Facebook, you will enter the wonderful world of 8 and 16-bit computing awesomeness – with plenty of discussions and lots of photos to tingle your nostalgic senses! You can listen and subscribe to the PRESS PLAY ON TAPE podcast on Podbean or iTunes.