Ninja Masters (ninjamas)

I continue to discover new games on Neo Geo all the time. This one is from the authors of World Heroes series, but instead of being “inspired” by Street Fighter 2 / Fatal Fury series, it draws its inspiration from Samurai Shodown. The mechanic where you can knock the weapon out of your opponent hands is here, for example.

One interesting detail is some of the characters start with their weapon drawn, while others have it holstered. And you need a rather obscure combination of buttons to draw it.


Emulation History

King of Fighters Retrospective

A monumental work, hours of footage on evolution of King of Fighter series.
This series always was one of my less-favorite on Neo Geo, since I never liked the tag-battle 3×3 format.
But the retrospective is still brilliant. For one, little did I know that the storyline didn’t make much sense to me, because SNK were creating their own universe. So a lot of the critical plotlines were told only in manga, for example. Even if you finished the game and managed to get through terrible English translation, you still wouldn’t understand a thing, and this is the way it was intended.
Next surprise: KoF ’99 has a different style, because the lead designer worked on another postapocalyptic fighting game… Fallen Angels. Yes, the unfinished fighting game I wrote about some time ago. And a lot of new characters, including K’ (hate that name) are straight from Fallen Angels.
And KoF 2001 had the artist from Real Bout Fatal Fury. That’s why the character portraits are much more anime-like than in any other game in the series.



Hibiki from Last Blade

Let me make a confession. I dislike ShoryuGame videos. I don’t like his accent and his sense of humor. But this video was an exception:

It was a surprise that the authors of Last Blade 2 included an alternative ending for a character. After all we’re talking about a 2D game on a space-limited cartridge. Drawing and storing stuff is expensive.
And what’s even more unexpected, that they kept that feature over all those years.


Neo Geo MVS

Some random notes:
You can have both English version of Metal Slug and red blood. Just need to enable blood using Soft DIP Switches. To access them, press B+C+D
161-in-1 cartridge is weird. There’s Shock Troopers 2, but not Shock Troopers 1. There’s Sengoku and Sengoku 3, but not Sengoku 2.
Aero Fighters 3 is buggy. Not sure if it’s the ROM that was put on the cartridge or the game itself, but sometimes both you and the enemies become invincible.


Neo Geo Misadventures

Can’t make this stuff up. A day after I put together my SuperGun Neo Geo setup, my consolized Neo Geo lost by Royal Mail arrives back. It was in transit since 29th of July, almost 2 months, and the Royal Mail itself admitted it was simply lost. At least that resolves my issue of not having a proper shell for my board.
Just for the fun of it, I decided to see if it boots. The reason I sent it back was that it wasn’t even showing the boot screen. And it does!
Look what 5 months in Spanish Inquisition does to you. Anyway, it shows the 00D00000x555 error:

Neo Geo MV1FZS Battery and Backup RAM Error Fix

I managed to get the malfunctioning motherboard out of the shell, and put the working motherboard inside. So now I have a fully working consolized MVS, it seems.


Neo Geo MVS misadventures

My misadventures with Neo Geo console continue.
I bought it back in May, from Spain.
For the first day or so it had a distorted image, which is a known problem.
Then the image disappeared completely, showing just a bit of garbage.
I’ve sent it for repairs, and it got stuck in Spanish customs from 5th of June, until the 29th of July, when they decided that they don’t want to accept my customs declaration, and shipped it back.
Now it’s still on its way back, and I was told that it should arrive “in a week or two”.
Yes, a single day of happiness, three months of waiting. And when I finally receive it, it will still be the same malfunctioning console, which I’ll have to find a way to fix myself now.


Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro

Got myself Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro in good condition from eBay a few weeks ago.
I knew it was big, but I didn’t think it would be so heavy, though. They literally put a metal plate in it to make it heavier, which is quite a common practice, AFAIK:

It’s also very tall. Which is alright if you put it in your lap, but less so if you use it to play on PC and put it on your desk.
There are 40 Neo Geo games in total, and those are Japanese versions. So there’s blood in Metal Slug, but also, the names are all kanji.
The emulator is Final Burn Alpha, pretty standard stuff. There are a couple of basic filters. Smoothing uses something like SuperEagle/SaI algo, so it completely ruins mesh details such as Hanzo’s arms in Samurai Shodown.
Since it uses Final Burn Alpha under the hood, there’s also a hack that allows you any game from any of the platforms this emulator supports. Even CPS3. Yes, you can run Street Fighter 3 on it, and it runs smoothly.
Having said that, I will probably sell it at some point, as it takes a lot of space, and doen’t have any advantages compared to my PC and Hori Fighting Stick.


Neo Geo MVS

Today was a historical day. I put together a working Neo Geo MVS. Something I was dreaming for 20 years. And that’s not an exaggeration. I wanted to have Neo Geo since 2002, when I first played Metal Slug and Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
But then there’s the reality. The console was expensive, and each game was super-expensive. Until consolized MVS came around.
I learned about its existence 2 years ago, although some people say those were around for at least 10 years. This is still the same ’99 hardware. Just packed into a 3D-printed case, and with a proper inputs and outputs attached.
Then there are games. Neo Geo didn’t have that many games. Around 100, probably, in all its history. Each game was around 40 megabytes at most. So, there are now cartridges that have all Neo Geo games there are (and some bootlegs, unfortunately).
There there’s the joystick. Since this isn’t a home console, you have to buy one separately.
Finally, there’s the issue of outputing retro signal to modern TVs. I had RetroTink 2X, but that didn’t support SCART, the only format all MVS’ output. But I wanted to upgrade to RetroTink 5X anyway. So I did.
So, it took me time to source all those components: consolized system itself, joystick, gamecard, RetroTink and SCART cable, which was the easiest part. But now I have it. And it works.


NeoGeo Arcade Stick Pro

Упустил момент, теперь только у перекупщиков.


Jamma идет в народ

We Need Brand New CRTs for Brave New World

Сама по себе статья ни о чем (никто не станет выпускать сейчас CRT), но первое фото интересное:

We Need Brand New CRTs for Brave New World 1

Для тех, кто не в теме, это начинка аркадного автомата Neo Geo MVS, который в последние несколько лет китайцы стали конвертировать в такую вот “домашнюю консоль”.

Телевизор тоже интересный, кстати.

*.BAK Emulation

Blast Galaxy

После TonTon Club узнал, что за проливом есть еще один клуб аркадных автоматов, Blast Galaxy.
Добираться туда проще всего на пароме, причем паром долгий – минут пятнадцать. Под конец абсолютно неожиданно проплываешь мимо такой красавицы:

Я просто глазам своим не поверил по началу.


О Neo Geo Mini

На волне популярности “ретро” эмуляторов на Android, заинтересовался покупкой NeoGeo Mini.

Продается она в двух версия: Asia и International. Разница – в дизайне и в наборе игр.
У Asia разноцветные клавиши, у International более строгий дизайн.
Общие игры уже посрамят довольно позорную подборку SNES Mini:

*.BAK Emulation

TonTon Club Centrum

Наконец-то сходил в клуб аркадных автоматов. Впечатление двоякое.
С одной стороны, у них там много хорошего. Есть Metal Slug 2, Mortal Kombat 2 (тут меня позорно вынес первый же противник), Street Fighter 2, Virtua Fighter 4. Устроенно это все удобно, можешь хоть один жетон купить, причем картой.
С другой, видно, что люди не в теме. Они даже не знали, что у них есть тот самый Metal Slug 2. И игры для Neo Geo они не то не умеют менять, не то не хотят.
С третьей, впервые поиграл в Metal Slug “вживую”, и в целом, мне не слишком понравилось. Arcade stick вот только удобный. До того я играл либо с геймпада, либо с клавиатуры. Но картинка – довольно таки отвратная. Среди любителей ретро много разговоров про теплые ламповые телевизоры. Так вот, я этот теплый ламповый телевизор при первой возможности готов променять на свой монитор.
Теперь нужно собраться и как-нибудь съездить на западную окраину, говорят там у них “другие игры” есть.